It is the time of year when we attempt the weekend projects that have been on hold all winter. That also means strenuous activity and heavy lifting – both can lead to a hernia.
A hernia occurs when the contents of a body cavity bulge out of the area where they are normally contained. Hernias by themselves may be asymptomatic (produce no symptoms) or cause slight to severe pain.
There are a number of different types of hernias, but the most common is an inguinal or hernia located in the groin area. This accounts for 75 percent of abdominal hernias and occurs up to 25 times more often in men than in women.
Symptoms of a hernia include a heavy feeling in the groin, pain or swelling in the scrotum, pain during a bowel movement or during urination, pain after long periods of standing, pain when lifting.
Weakness in the abdominal wall may be present from birth, but a hernia may occur during heavy lifting, while coughing or during strenuous activity.
– Maintain a safe, healthy weight
– Eat high fiber foods with plenty of whole grains fruits and vegetables
– Use proper technique when lifting something heavy
– Stop smoking
– Control allergies to avoid excess sneezing
– Exercise to strengthen abdominal muscles
– Surgery may be required, but not always.
– All hernias should be repaired to prevent intestinal strangulation
– Laparoscopic surgery is possible to repair a hernia. Laparoscopic surgery is a less invasive technique using a camera and small tools inserted through small incisions in the abdomen. It generally has less pain and faster recovery than a traditional procedure.
For more information, visit www.memorial.org and search keyword “hernia.” For a physician referral, call 495-4320.