Having a hernia can be an incredibly disruptive experience, both physically and mentally. If left untreated, it can cause pain, discomfort, and even long-term health complications.
In this article, we will explore hernia pain triggers and how to manage and relieve them. We will also look at how it impacts mental health and what steps you should take if you are experiencing any signs or symptoms associated with a hernia. By understanding this common medical condition, you will be better equipped to manage its effects on your physical and emotional well-being.
What Is A Hernia?
Hernias occur when a part of the body, usually an organ or fatty tissue, pushes through weakened tissue in the abdominal wall. This can cause pain, discomfort and long-term health complications if left untreated. Different types of hernias affect different parts of your body, with the most common types being inguinal (groin), umbilical (belly button) and incisional (after surgery).
Inguinal hernias are the most common type and occur more often in men than women. Umbilical hernias are more common in newborns but can also happen to adults with weak abdominal muscles. Incisional hernias occur after surgical procedures when there is a risk of weakened tissues due to scarring or infection.
It’s important to understand how these different types may present themselves so you know what symptoms to look for.
What Are Some Signs Of Hernia Pain?
Some common signs of hernia pain include localised or sharp pains in the affected area, swelling and tenderness, nausea and vomiting, difficulty with urination or bowel movements, and bulging near the abdominal wall.
It is important to note that not all hernias are painful and require pain management – some may not present any symptoms. However, if you experience these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately, as they can indicate a more severe issue, such as an abdominal obstruction.
Hernia Pain Triggers
Several activities can trigger hernia pain due to increased strain on the weakened tissue in your abdominal wall. These activities include lifting heavy objects, bending over for prolonged periods, or strenuous exercise.
The pain may be constant or intermittent and may worsen when you are physically active or when standing or sitting for long periods. Hernia pain may also be exacerbated by coughing, sneezing, or straining during bowel movements.
How To Relieve Hernia Pain
Hernia pain can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. Luckily, there are several methods to help reduce hernia pain. Ice packs are an effective treatment option for hernia pain, as they can help reduce swelling and provide immediate relief.
Wearing a supportive belt specifically for hernias can provide additional support and compression to reduce pain levels. Regular exercise that focuses on strengthening your core muscles can also help take some of the strain off troubled areas. Depending on its severity, certain medications may also be recommended to relieve hernia pain.
Surgery may be an option to remove or repair the hernia in extreme cases where the discomfort may be unbearable.
Treating Hernia Pain: Hernia Repair Surgery
Hernia repair surgery is recommended when a hernia cannot be managed with lifestyle changes or medications. A hernia repair surgery closes off or strengthens the part of the abdominal wall where tissue can bulge through a weakened area.
The surgery is usually done under general anaesthesia and recovery times vary depending on the type of hernia, but most patients can return home within 1-2 days and recover within 3-6 weeks.
Some patients may want to consider hernia repair surgery if it causes physical and mental distress.
Impact Of Living With A Hernia On Mental Health
Having a hernia can cause significant disruption to an individual’s lifestyle, making it difficult for them to perform daily activities such as working or exercising without experiencing pain. This can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety, and depression.
It is important that these individuals have access to mental health resources to address any underlying symptoms associated with a hernia.
Having a hernia can cause significant disruption to your life, but with proper knowledge and preventive measures, you can take control of your health and well-being to live the life you deserve. By understanding the different types of hernias and their symptoms, you can spot any early warning signs and take action to prevent them from impacting your quality of life.
Additionally, having a strong support system is essential in managing any mental health issues that may arise from having a hernia. Finally, discussing all available treatment options with your doctor will ensure you get the best care possible to continue living an active and healthy lifestyle despite your condition.
If you are considering hernia surgery or looking for medical advice, speak to our doctor about your specific situation to determine your personalised course of treatment.