A hernia is a gap or space in the strong tissue that holds muscles in place. A hernia occurs when the inside layers of the abdominal muscle have weakened, resulting in a bulge or tear. In the same way that an inner tube pushes through a damaged tyre, the inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area of the abdominal wall to form a small balloon like sac. This will cause a loop of intestine or abdominal tissue to push into the sac. The hernia can cause discomfort, severe pain, or other potentially serious problems like strangulation that could require emergency surgery.
A hernia does not get better over time, nor will it go away by itself. There are no exercises or physical therapy regimen or yoga that can make a hernia go away.
How does a hernia present?
Depending on their location, most hernia appear as a swelling , which may be painful. The swelling will often appear when you are straining or lifting something and disappear when you lie down and relax. In a small number of people they may present with bowel obstruction due to bowel getting trapped (strangulation) within the hernia, which is a medical emergency which can be serious.
What are the causes of Hernia?
Both men and women can get a hernia. You may be born with a hernia (congenital) or develop one over time. Hernias in adults may arise as a result of the strain which raises the pressure in the abdomen, causing a weakness or tear in the abdominal wall. This can be caused by:
• Persistent coughing
• Being overweight or pregnant
• Lifting, carrying or pushing heavy loads
• Straining on the toilet
What are the symptoms?
Hernia is usually noticed after a strain – for example, after lifting a heavy object. Sometimes you may simply notice a small lump, usually in the groin area. Usually, at first, the lump can be pushed back, but may come out after straining again. Coughing, lifting heavy objects or prolonged standing is a common strain that brings them out. The swelling often disappears when you lie down.
Hernias are not usually painful, but many people feel an ache over a hernia, which worsens after doing any activity. In time, they might become bigger as the gap in their muscle or ligament tissue becomes larger. If the hernia doesn’t reduce, becomes red or painful, it has obstructed and is in danger of strangulation. It is an emergency and you should contact doctor immediately.