“Hey buddy! Don’t lift that way! You’ll give yourself a hernia!”

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. More than three million hernia cases are reported in the US each year. More men than women are affected, which makes sense since guys are usually the heavy lifters…and guys suffer from more back injuries as well from improper lifting.

Some hernias appear soon after birth; some much later in life.

Hernias are medically treatable and are often self-diagnosed.
No amount of time or rest can heal a hernia.
Treatment, if needed, involves surgically returning the bulging tissue to its normal location.

A hernia occurs when tissue – usually the stomach or bowel – pushes through a weak spot in the groin muscle, causing a bulge in the groin or scrotum.

• The hernia may feel like a round lump, or a bulge and can occur with or without pain.

• A hernia can also cause a feeling of tugging, heaviness or swelling. These symptoms may ease when you lie down.

  • A cautionary note: If you experience sudden, sharp pain in your groin with accompanying nausea or vomiting, call your doctor immediately.

What things can increase your risk of developing a hernia?

  • – Being a guy
    – Having a job that requires heavy lifting
    – Being born with or having already had a hernia
    – Having weak muscles from birth
    – Undescended testicles
    – Constipation
    – Advanced age – being male and over the age of sixty

You may be able to prevent a hernia, or prevent one from recurring by doing the following:

  • – When lifting weights or heavy objects, “Lift with your legs and not with your back.”
    – Avoid any activity that raises the pressure inside your belly.
    – Maintain a healthy weight.
    – Exercise regularly to strengthen your stomach muscles.
    – Stop smoking.
    – Try to prevent chronic coughing.
    – Avoid straining when using the toilet.

Surgical repair may not be immediately necessary if the hernia is small and painless.
Most people eventually have hernia repair surgery, even if their hernia is not painful.

Your improper lifting may be responsible for a hernia. It may also have wreaked havoc with your back. Call us for a consultation if you have concerns.