Developing a hernia can be unsightly at best and painful at worst. Surgery is usually the favored remedy for any type of hernia that is discovered on your body by you or your doctor. In fact, not treating a hernia surgically can lead to serious medical complications.
What is a Hernia?
An hernia results from a weakness or tear in the muscle of the abdominal wall that contains the gut, or intestines. Over time, as the weakness in the wall becomes more pronounced, a small portion of the intestine can actually protrude through the abdominal wall. This is the hernia itself.
Some people with a hernia may see it come and go over time. For example, it may go away on certain days, or maybe when they are laying down. At other times, it returns and prominently shows itself as a noticeable bulge in the skin. Once this game of cat and mouse has happened a number of times, most folks will get the idea of going to the doctor to have the situation diagnosed.
Hernias take no account of your sex, and they occur frequently in both men and women.
Types of Hernias
All hernias happen in the same way: through a weakening of the body’s abdominal wall structure. Exactly where in the hernia occurs determines the type of hernia you have. Working generally from the middle of the torso down toward the groin, here are the types of hernia:
1. An incisional hernia occurs at the site of a previous abdominal surgery.
2. An umbilical hernia occurs around the site of the navel. It can occur in infants, for example, whose muscles did not close completely around the umbilicus.
3. A direct inguinal hernia involves a protrusion of the intestine through the lower abdominal wall.
4. A femoral hernia is a type of groin hernia that can appear as a bulge in the thigh.
5. An indirect inguinal hernia involves a protrusion of the intestine through the inguinal wall.
How Hernia Surgery Repairs Your Hernia
Hernia surgery always involves pushing the contents of the gut back into the body cavity and then closing the opening in the abdominal wall. In most cases, the opening is covered using a mesh patch that is secured to the site permanently, with no long-term risk or damage to the body.
Should You Exercise After Hernia Surgery?
After hernia surgery, you should be careful to stay in bed for the first day or so. But after that, it is important to frequently get out of bed and walk around – at least once every hour. You need to gently but firmly exercise your body through careful, slow movements at first. Reason: this type of movement will actually strengthen the abdominal wall around the site of the hernia. In fact, NOT exercising after hernia surgery is actually risky behavior – since it can lead to a recurrence of the hernia.
Hernia Surgery and Pain after Exercising
What happens if you still experience hernia pain, even after exercising? Follow these steps:
1. Determine which types of exercise are causing the pain. Is it just heavy, fast and frenetic exercise like jogging or lifting heavy weights – or is it any type of exercise? If it’s just the heavy stuff causing the pain, you should obviously lay off these heavier exercises for a while. But, don’t stop your other types of exercise like walking and light stretching.
2. If even light exercise is causing pain after hernia surgery, give it a day or two without any movement, then try the light exercise again and see what happens. If you are still experiencing problems, you should see your doctor right away.
In many cases, some pain after exercising is probably nothing to worry about. However, if the pain continues or if you see your hernia re-emerge – or if a new hernia emerges at a difference spot on your body – ask your doctor to examine the site of the surgery to make sure things are fine.