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Hernia Treatments That Can Help

by Patty Weasler, RN March 15, 2021 0 Comments

lifting box with back brace

A hernia is when tissue or organs push through an opening of muscle or connective tissue. They can be excruciating or painless but will never heal on their own. Hernia treatment will depend upon the type of hernia, where it is located, severity of symptoms, and size. The only true way to cure a hernia is through surgery but there are ways to manage the pain and decrease the chances of developing one in the first place. Read on to learn more about how you can treat your hernia.

Managing & Preventing Hernia Symptoms

If you notice an area on your body that has a bulge when you’re doing some heavy lifting or when you cough but the area doesn’t cause any pain or other symptoms your doctor may go with a watch and wait treatment plan. But that doesn’t mean you just sit around and don’t do anything. Here are ways to manage your hernia pain at home.

Hernia Truss

A hernia truss or sometimes called a hernia belt is a supportive undergarment that can be used for inguinal hernias. The hernia truss places pressure against the hernia to prevent the bulge of the intestine or other tissue through the hole. It also can help prevent the hernia from becoming larger. A hernia truss will not fix your hernia and is only a temporary solution until surgery is recommended.

Back Brace

A back brace can take the pressure off of your abdominal muscles and support your lower back. Look for a back brace that is adjustable and covers the area you need. If you have an abdominal hernia the back brace may also cover the protrusion and give you the counterpressure to reduce pain.

Selecting the Best Back Brace

Hernia Exercises

Exercise can be a great way to strengthen the muscles around the hernia. Which will reduce the symptoms and can also help you lose weight. It’s important to know which type of exercises are safe and the ones that need to be avoided. Different types of hernias will require different types of exercise. Here’s a little bit about the exercises necessary for the type of hernia you have:

  • Sports Hernias

    A sports hernia is an injury to the soft tissue in the groin area, most often the oblique muscles in the lower abdomen. Inner thigh and abdominal exercises are generally started a couple of weeks after the injury. 

    Sports Hernia Exercises

  • Inguinal Hernias

    An inguinal hernia is when soft tissue pushes through a passage called the inguinal canal in the femoral area. They can occur when you lift heavy weights or objects and like other hernias will not go away on their own. Inguinal hernia exercises are focused on strengthening the abdominal muscles and femoral area.

    Inguinal Hernia Exercises

  • Abdominal Hernias

    Abdominal hernias are when the intestines or internal organs like the bladder push through the abdominal wall. Exercises need to be done carefully to prevent further damage to the abdominal wall.

    Abdominal Hernia Exericses

  • Hiatal Hernias

    A hiatal hernia is when a portion of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest space above it. One way to manage the symptoms of a hiatal hernia is to lose weight, making exercise a great treatment option.

    Hiatal Hernia Exercises

Adopt a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet and body can prevent a hernia by reducing stress and strain on your body. Here are tangible ways you can make changes today.

  • Increase Fiber Intake

    Increasing the amount of fiber you eat can make bowel movements easier. Constipation causes you to strain which can aggravate a hernia.

  • Avoid Heavy Meals

    Heavy meals can cause heartburn and stress on your body. Eat light meals throughout the day.

  • Maintain Healthy Weight

    Maintaining a healthy weight will help your body in countless ways. With hernias, it will put less stress and strain on your ligaments and muscles, ultimately making it less likely to develop a hernia.

Reducing Stomach Acid

If you have a hiatal hernia you’ll want to avoid heartburn by reducing stomach acid. This will help you manage the symptoms and be more comfortable. Here are the changes you should make:

  • Avoid spicy and tomato based foods
  • Use heartburn medication when necessary
  • Do not eat just before you lay down
  • Quit smoking
  • Don’t wear tight clothing
  • Elevate the head of your bed with an extra pillow

Surgery

Surgery is one true way to effectively fix a hernia. The type of hernia repair you need will depend upon the type of hernia you have. As soon as you suspect you have a hernia make an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to evaluate the hernia and make suggestions on if immediate surgery is necessary. After surgery, your surgeon will likely suggest you spend some time with a physical therapist to learn the specific movements you should avoid and the exercises you need to perform.

Here’s an excellent resource to learn more about hernia surgery recovery

Don’t Ignore Pain Symptoms

A hernia may seem like a small problem but it can become a big one fast if you do not seek medical attention right away. The pain and other symptoms from a hernia can lead to serious complications if not treated. If your doctor does not think surgery is necessary then you can try other treatment methods like an abdominal truss.

Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/142334#types

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Inguinal_Hernia

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15757-hernia/management-and-treatment

Hernia Products

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Patty Weasler, RN
Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler is a freelance health writer and nurse. She is certified in critical care nursing and has been practicing for over 10 years. Patty lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending her time with family and educating people about their health.



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