What is a hernia? A hernia is a protrusion of tissue like muscle through a weakness in the abdominal wall in the pelvic region. We all can have a weakness there and it is not always due to lack of exercise, although that does play a part. When you exercise, specifically performing core exercises like crunches, you strengthen the center of your body.
When the abdominal muscles are strong, they can support your body in a variety of different positions without injury. The abdominal muscles run along the front of your body down to your pelvis. They are also wrapped around the waist of your body to protect you and help you move side to side and front and back.
How can weaknesses develop? Well, they can occur due to previous surgery on the abdomen. Sutures are used to stitch muscles back together when they have to be divided. Moving too much during the healing process can weaken that muscle and cause it not to heal as strongly as before.
Weaknesses can also be genetic. Men are more likely to develop inguinal hernias than women. When men are just babies, their testicles form inside the abdomen. Right before birth, those testicles descend into the scrotal sac.
The opening in the abdomen that allows them to descend then closes up again so they can’t move upward back into the abdomen. However, the opening doesn’t always close properly, creating a weak spot.
Improper lifting is another cause for weakness in the inguinal area. When you lift, do so properly from your legs. This way, all of the weight is shouldered by them and not your lower back. The abs are kept tight to keep you balanced. When you strain instead of tighten, the muscles can tear, leaving room for herniation.
Hernias are often discovered because someone notices a bulge in the groin area or there is pain there when you move certain ways. If the bulge is present without pain, your doctor may simply watch it for a time to be sure that nothing vital is trying to escape your abdomen.
Sometimes, your bowel can become herniated through this muscle and get strangled. Strangled bowel can lead to dead and decaying bowel which is a serious problem that requires medical and surgical intervention.
If you are experiencing pain from the inguinal bulge, see your doctor immediately. They can run tests to see if surgery is needed. During surgery many doctors insert a piece of mesh to reinforce the weakness, preventing future hernias in that area.