Having a hernia can be oh so painful! But how do you know it’s not just a pulled muscle? The most common form of hernias occur in males, where you’ll typically feel it bulging out of the groin or scrotum. It will first feel like a round, small lump, and it may grow in size if not treated. But what exactly is a hernia and how do you treat it?
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in the muscles or fatty tissue that surround it. Hernias typically happen in the inner groin (inguinal), outer groin (femoral), belly button (umbilical), and upper stomach (hiatal).
Who Can Get a Hernia?
Most hernias happen to men because of a weak spot in their inner groin between the abdomen and thigh. While less common, women are also susceptible to hernias of the outer groin due to pregnancy or obesity. Obese women and women who’ve had a lot of children are also at risk for umbilical hernias, which is when a part of the small intestine squeezes through the abdominal wall. This can also happen in newborn babies, although it is typically painless and harmless. There are also hiatal hernias, where the stomach bulges up into the chest through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm.
What Causes Hernias?
Hernias are caused when pressure pushes organs or fatty tissue through vulnerable spots in muscles or fascia. Think of all the things that may cause pressure in the abdomen such as lifting heavy objects, childbirth, coughing, sneezing, and straining during constipation. Poor lifestyle habits can also contribute to weak spots in muscles, such as a lack of proper nutrition, smoking, and obesity.