Should I Use Haemorrhoid Doughnut Pillows?

Doughnut pillows are one of the most common tools for haemorrhoid pain relief– but do they work, and should you use one? Here is some insight from a colorectal surgeon on the effectiveness of these pillows and whether haemorrhoid removal and haemorrhoid treatment are a better choice. 


Are Doughnut Pillows Effective? 

The theory behind doughnut pillows seems like common sense – a comfortable, supportive pillow that puts no pressure on the anal region should relieve pain and help you heal more comfortably. But the reality is a bit different. 

These pillows were originally prescribed to provide support for people with pain or injury to the lower region of their body – people with sciatica, people recovering from surgery or suffering coccyx pain. But they can actually make haemorrhoids worse. 

This is because of the lack of support given to the anal region. Without support caused by sitting on a doughnut pillow for hours, the anal region can sink outward further, making the pain and swelling worse, and creating the need for more invasive haemorrhoid treatment, including surgical haemorrhoid removal. This is especially true for people with prolapsed (protruding) haemorrhoids. The temporary relief they may deliver far outweighs the problems they can cause. 

How to Get Pain Relief While Sitting 

Getting pain relief from haemorrhoids while sitting is understandably a priority for patients, so here are some alternatives from your colorectal surgeon: 

  • Move around – Break up your periods of sitting into short sessions, making sure that you get up and walk around for a few minutes every 30 minutes or so. This will help improve circulation in the affected area, promoting healing and reducing swelling. 
  • Use a warm stiz bath – Using a warm Sitz bath a few times a day (where possible) can help gently clean the affected area, providing pain relief and soothing inflammation. These baths can be used in a bathtub or over a toilet seat. 
  • Over the counter medications – For mild cases of haemorrhoids, you can use over the counter haemorrhoid treatment, including medicated topical ointments and anti-inflammatories. 
  • Support pillows – Some manufacturers of doughnut pillows have realised the need for comfortable support, and have developed orthopaedic cushions that do support the anal region while providing pain relief. They are a good haemorrhoid treatment alternative to a ring pillow. Colorectal surgeons also recommend leaning back on your couch or seat, or lying flat on your bed for a few minutes to provide relief. 
  • Haemorrhoid removal – This is a surgical procedure performed by a colorectal surgeon, and is only recommended for severe cases. The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and is very effective for haemorrhoid treatment and prevention. 

Speak to a Colorectal Surgeon About Haemorrhoid Treatment 

Haemorrhoids can be a painful and debilitating condition – but there are treatment options available! A colorectal surgeon can help explain your haemorrhoid treatment alternatives, guide your care and even perform haemorrhoid removal if necessary. 

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