The sort of person likely to get a hernia is not necessarily the one who lifts a heavy weight badly. A hernia is just as likely to occur during exercise, coughing, straining on the toilet or even as a result of having a lively sex life.
Hernias occur because of muscle weakness, often in or around the abdomen. Hernias happen where the cavity wall is weak. These points of weakness occur where there is a natural gap such as where a digestive tube or blood vessel passes or because of scar tissue.
Men commonly describe the sensation of hernia as feeling like something has popped, or given way.
Types of Hernia
The name of the hernia relates to its location on the body. These include:
Inguinal hernias are the common type of hernia. in men the inguinal canal is where the testes descend before birth. The canal contains the spermatic cord and blood vessels. When an inguinal hernia occurs part of the intestine protrude down the canal and into the scrotum. Inguinal hernias are more common in men than women because the canal is bigger.
More common in women, femoral hernias occur when part of the intestine protrudes through the femoral canal and protrudes through at the top of the thigh. The femoral canal is where the main blood vessels pass that supply the legs.
An umbilical hernia occurs when the abdominal wall is weakened at the point of umbilical cord. Umbilical hernias are most common in children.
Epigastric hernias are protrusions of fat or sometimes intestine through the abdominal wall between the naval and the breastbone.
This type of hernia occurs when scar tissue weakens the abdominal wall such as following an surgical operation or following trauma.
The obturator hernia occurs when part of the intestine passes through the gap between the bones of the front of the pelvis.
A hiatus hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm, a hole usually occupied by the esophagus.
There are two main types of hiatus hernia. The sliding hiatus hernia which is the most common. The sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus and the top of the stomach protrude through the hole (hiatus) in the diaphragm. The hernia may slide up and down, in and out of the lower chest. This type of hernia is often quite small.
Rolling hiatus hernia are less common. Part of the stomach protrudes up through the hole in the diaphragm next to the esophagus.
Seeking Medical Advice
It is important to seek medical advice. An accurate diagnosis is required to receive appropriate treatment.