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When you have a hernia, stretching and exercising might be the last thing you want to do. But with a hernia, you need to keep yourself healthy and strong. Stretching and exercising will work to develop strength and flexibility around your injury, with the goal of not causing further damage. Keep reading to learn more about the stretches and exercises you should consider or avoid when you have a hernia.
A sports hernia is when there is a tear in the muscles or supporting ligaments of the pelvis. With abdominal muscle involvement, it’s crucial to continue safely exercising to maintain core strength, stability, and flexibility. Most of the exercises will involve static or slow movements and should not cause pain. Sports hernias often happen from quick twisting or turning movements, so once you are comfortable make sure to work on rotational movements as well.
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An inguinal hernia is one of the more common types of hernias. It involves the intestine or internal organs pushing through an opening in the inguinal canal. This small hole is in the femoral or groin area. You should continue exercising with an inguinal hernia but avoid heavy lifting and constipation (it’s the strain of bearing down that’s the problem) to help prevent aggravating the hernia. Doing abdominal exercises will strengthen muscles but avoid doing exercises that use the hip flexors or adductor muscles.
Best Inguinal Hernia Exercises
An abdominal hernia is a catch all term for any hernia in the abdominal wall area. So this can include inguinal hernias, umbilical hernias, and hiatal hernias. An abdominal hernia happens when there is a hole in the abdominal wall and tissue or organ pushes through. Exercises should be focused on strengthening the abdominal muscles and lower back. This will keep the core strong and prevent further damage.
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A hiatal hernia is when part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm into the chest space. Exercising is still important with a hiatal hernia, but you need to avoid straining the upper chest. Stay away from heavyweights or exercise that stresses the upper body. Losing weight and managing heartburn are two other treatments that are recommended for this type of hernia.
Effective Exercises for Hiatal Hernias
Hernia surgery is the only way to truly fix a hernia. But oftentimes, surgery is not immediately necessary and your doctor may suggest a watch and wait approach. Exercise and stretching will develop muscle strength and flexibility to keep your hernia symptoms at bay. When it is time for a hernia repair make sure to work with a physical therapist after surgery to learn which movements are and are not safe for you.
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