Treating and Preventing Hernias
thing you can do is lead a healthy lifestyle.
Men and women of all ages can
have hernia. Children can have them, too. A hernia
occurs when part of the intestine bulges through the
abdominal wall. There are many different types of
hernias, but the most common are inguinal and hernias.
An inguinal (groin) hernia develops when the lining
of the abdominal cavity weakens and the intestines
push through the weak spot in the groin area.
Causes of an inguinal hernia include obesity,
pregnancy, heavy lifting and straining to pass
Symptoms. These may start slowly,
● Visible bulges slightly above or within the
scrotum in men
● Pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen and
scrotum in men
● Feeling of pressure or weakness in the groin
● Aches and pain in the abdomen that start and stop
Treatment. Inguinal hernias are
usually treated with surgery to repair the opening
in the muscle wall. In some cases, the hernia may
become twisted (called a strangulated hernia) and
cut off blood supply to the tissue, rapidly
increasing pain in the groin is a sign that the
hernia has become strangulated-this requires
immediate medical attention.
Self-care tips. Avoid heavy
lifting, which can cause straining and place more
pressure on the abdomen. Use correct lifting
techniques: Lift objects by bending your legs and
keeping your back straight. Your leg muscles, not
your back or abdomen, should do the most work.
A hiatal hernia occurs when a weak spot in the
diaphragm muscle allows the stomach to push up
through the diaphragm. The hernia develops at the
spot where the esophagus meets the stomach.
There really is no sure-life way to prevent a
hernia. Anybody can get them. The best thing you can
do to prevent a hernia is to stay healthy and:
● Eat a healthy diet. It will help you avoid the
constipation that can lead to straining during a
bowel movement. It will also help keep your muscles
● Don't smoke. If you do, quit. Chronic coughing
from lung irritation can put you at increased risk
for a hernia. It can also cause one to recur.
● Do regular, gentle exercises to tone and
strengthen your abdominal muscles.
● Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight,
try Lo lose some weight to ease the pressure on your
● Use proper lifting techniques and avoid lifting
weights that are too heavy for you.