Hemorrhoids are small swollen veins in the area around the anus or may exist internally in the lower part of the rectum; they can be referred to as external or internal hemorrhoids. Either type can cause discomfort, pain, itching, irritation, pressure, and feelings of swelling in the perineum. As a result of their hemorrhoids many people have difficulty sitting or with bowel movements and wiping.
Causes of hemorrhoids include: straining during bowel movements, chronic constipation, sitting for long periods of time, overactive pelvic floor muscles or spasms, trauma, surgery, pregnancy, or as a result of labor and delivery. Medical treatments include: dietary changes (such as increasing fiber), topical or insertional medications, injections, and rubber band ligation. Other recommended treatments may include: heat packs, ice applications, or warm baths known as sitz baths. A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that soaks the perineum (rectal region, vulva or scrotum). Supportive garments can be beneficial. Elevation of the pelvis for periods of time may also help reduce swelling.
How can Pamela Morrison Physical Therapy help with hemorrhoids?
Our pelvic experts assess pain level, severity of hemorrhoids, and perform a complete pelvic floor exam. The entire pelvic girdle is then evaluated to ensure proper alignment which can assist in the reduction of hemorrhoids via venous return. For post-partum patients we perform a comprehensive check-up which may include assessment of the abdominal wall for diastasis recti, checking for pelvic organ prolapse, and evaluation of pelvic floor muscle function.
Treatment for hemorrhoids may include: use of therapeutic ultrasound to help rapidly reduce their size, cold laser therapy, pelvic balancing, support garment recommendations, and retrograde massage to improve lymphatic and venous drainage. Liver mobility and motlity via visceral mobilization may also be used as the veins in the anus drain upwards to the liver. Dietary improvements, use of stool softeners, and other holistic approaches may be discussed. We work closely with your physicians to ensure a comprehensive approach. We have seen significant improvements in patients with our combined use of modalities for pain and swelling along with our advanced manual therapies.