Best Hemorrhoid Pillow
Though you may not realize it, you probably have hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are simply the pillow-like clusters of veins located just beneath the membrane lining the lower portion of the rectum and the anus. Everyone has them, but they generally aren’t noticeable unless they become swollen or distended. When that happens, you can experience discomfort or itching, even pain and bleeding.
If you have hemorrhoids, spending long hours seated can make matters quite uncomfortable. One of the simplest solutions for hemorrhoid pain is to sit on a hemorrhoid pillow – a ring-shaped pillow that cushions your bottom to relieve pressure on the swollen vessels. We’ve done the research to bring you an in-depth review of the best hemorrhoid pillow on the market. Check it out below.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Also known as piles, hemorrhoids are small clusters of veins in the lower part of the rectum and anus that can become swollen and distended. There are two primary types of hemorrhoids:
- Internal hemorrhoids
- External hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids form in the lower rectum while external hemorrhoids form in the skin around the anus. Signs of external hemorrhoids include itching or irritation around the anus, swelling around the anus, and pain or discomfort when sitting. Internal hemorrhoids form inside the rectum, so you typically can’t see them or feel them, but you may notice some painless bleeding during bowel movements.
If internal hemorrhoids push through the anal opening or the skin covering external hemorrhoids erodes away, it can result in significant pain and irritation. If you experience bleeding during bowel movements or have hemorrhoids that don’t improve within a week, you should see your doctor.
Best Hemorrhoid Pillow: Bonmedico Standard Memory Foam Seat Cushion
When hemorrhoids make it uncomfortable to sit, this orthopedic donut pillow helps take some of the pressure off. Its ergonomic design is uniquely shaped with an open center and multiple layers of foam so you can sit comfortably in your office chair, in the car, or anywhere else you care to use it. This hemorrhoid pillow is rated for individuals weighing up to 198 lbs. (90kg).
This hemorrhoid pillow utilizes a clever combination of gel-infused foam with a viscoelastic memory foam core to relieve pressure while providing cooling benefits. It offers just the right degree of firmness to provide lumbar support while relieving pressure on sensitive areas. The open center is generously sized to work for all individuals and the velour cover is soft, breathable, and machine washable.
If you’ve ever used a memory foam pillow to sleep, you can understand how this Bonmedico hemorrhoid pillow works. This responsive material conforms to the shape of your body, reacting under pressure to take the weight off the affected area. Simply place the pillow on your chair and center your body over it, adjusting your position over the opening as needed to avoid contact with the pillow.
The Benefits of Hemorrhoid Pillows
Hemorrhoids form when the veins around the anus stretch under pressure, often caused by straining during bowel movements or spending long periods of time sitting on the toilet. Other potential causes for hemorrhoids include obesity, pregnancy, anal intercourse, heavy lifting, and a low-fiber diet.
Treatment for hemorrhoids depends largely on the cause. If a low fiber diet is the culprit, for example, you’ll want to include more high-fiber foods in your diet and drink plenty of water.
Another option for relieving the itching, pain, and irritation associated with hemorrhoids is to sit on a hemorrhoid pillow. A hemorrhoid pillow is simply a donut-shaped pillow you sit on to relieve pressure on the swollen tissues. The thing to remember is that, while these cushions can provide some relief, they aren’t intended for long-term treatment. You should get up and walk around at least once every hour when using a hemorrhoid pillow and talk to your doctor about curative treatments.
Do Hemorrhoid Pillows Help or Hurt?
If you do some research on hemorrhoid pillows, you’ll find mixed reviews from medical professionals. Many advocate for the temporary use of these specialized cushions to relieve pressure and mitigate pain caused by hemorrhoids. On the other side of the aisle, however, some experts suggest sitting on a hemorrhoid pillow could make matters worse because it may not actually help the hemorrhoids heal. These pillows may offer temporary relief from pain, but it may encourage you to spend more time seated which can exacerbate the issue, especially with inflamed or prolapsed hemorrhoids.
The best course of action is to talk to your doctor about your hemorrhoids and discuss treatment options. If you have internal hemorrhoids and only experience mild itching or irritation, a hemorrhoid pillow could provide some relief while other treatments have time to work. For external or prolapsed hemorrhoids, however, you may want to avoid sitting down as much as possible.
Other Uses for Hemorrhoid Pillows
Hemorrhoid pillows are typically ring-shaped to relive pressure on the tissues surrounding the anus, but they are useful for more than just relieving hemorrhoid pain. Another popular use for these pillows is for injuries to the tailbone. These pillows can also be used by post-partum women, people with sciatica, and really anyone suffering pain in the lower region of the body.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do hemorrhoid pillows work?
The theory behind hemorrhoid pillows is that you can sit on the soft cushion to relieve pressure on the swollen tissues in or around the anus. They have an opening in the middle to prevent contact with the affected tissues.
Do hemorrhoid pillows make hemorrhoids worse?
Sitting on a hemorrhoid pillow provides superficial and temporary relief from pain and irritation, but you shouldn’t use it as your only form of treatment. If you have prolapsed hemorrhoids, sitting on a hemorrhoid pillow could make matters worse, especially if you sit on it for long periods of time.
How are hemorrhoids treated?
Topical hemorrhoid creams, ointments, pads, or suppositories containing witch hazel, lidocaine, or hydrocortisone can help relieve pain and itching. It may also help to eat more high-fiber foods and soak the anal region in a warm bath for 15 minutes two to three times per day.