Did you know that roughly 27% of men and 3% of women will develop a hernia in their lifetime? Despite the prevalence of this condition, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding hernia pain and the various forms of treatment.
That’s why we made this guide. In it, we’ll be going over some of the various ways you can treat hernia pain, both in the long term and the short term.
That way, you can get back to feeling normal and pain-free. Let’s get started!
What Is a Hernia?
Before we learn about hernia pain, it’s important first to understand exactly what the condition is. Hernias are gaps that occur within the muscular wall of your abdomen.
See, your abs come lined with layers of tissue and muscles. These muscles both allow you to move properly and protect your vital organs.
However, when a hernia gap occurs, it causes any contents within your abdomen to protrude outwards. It’s important to note that there are many different types of hernia, including the following:
- Inguinal hernias
- Femoral hernias
- Umbilical hernias
- Hiatal hernias
- Incisional hernia
- Epigastric hernia
- Spigelian hernia
- Diaphragmatic hernia
Different hernias will require different treatment options. That being said, inguinal hernias are by far the most common.
One study found that over 800,000 inguinal hernia repairs are performed every year. So, if you’re struggling with hernia pain, there’s a good chance it’s from that.
What Does Hernia Pain Feel Like?
There are other symptoms associated with hernias that aren’t related to pain. These symptoms include things like:
- A bulge in your intestinal tract that you can see or feel
- A feeling of pressure in the affected area
- Tugging sensation around your testicles
- Burning sensations
That being said, pain is the main symptom that is often reported. See, when a hernia compresses, they tend to put pressure on blood vessels and nerves.
The result is a shooting pain that can be localized to the bulge of your hernia. Hernia pain can also radiate down your entire gastrointestinal tract ending in your scrotum or inner thigh.
You’ll likely notice hernia pain at the end of the day. That’s because prolonged standing or movement can exasperate the pain. The same goes for heavy lifting.
Is There Any Way to Relieve the Pain?
Sadly, there is no permanent way to relieve hernia abdominal pain besides surgery. However, there are some things you can do to relieve the pain in the short term.
The easiest way to relieve pain in the abdomen is to simply lie down flat on your back. Doing this should bring some relief for most of the symptoms that come with hernias.
You might also find some relief massaging the hernia and the surrounding area around it. In some cases, you might be able to press the hernia back into your abs.
However, remember that the best way to relieve pain is with surgery. Don’t wait for the pain to become unbearable to seek surgical treatment. It will be much more straightforward the earlier you can deal with it.
What Are Your Treatment Options for Hernia Pain?
As we mentioned before, the only permanent option for hernia pain is surgery. So what are your options when it comes to hernia surgery?
There are three main procedures: open hernia surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic hernia surgery. Open hernia surgery is the most invasive of the three.
Basically, you’re cut into at the site of the hernia. The tissue that’s protruding the set back into place, then the muscle wall is stitched up. Sometimes a piece of mesh might be implanted to provide extra support.
Laparoscopic surgery, on the other hand, isn’t as invasive. With this procedure, tiny incisions are made around the abs or groin. Then, tiny surgical tools are inserted.
Robotic hernia surgery is basically the same as laparoscopic surgery. The main difference is that the surgeon uses the help of a robot to repair and reconstruct the area around the hernia.
If you want to learn more about this form of hernia repair, make sure to check out our full guide here.
Relieving Hernia Pain After Your Surgery
Most of the time, post-surgery hernia pain can be handled with over-the-counter pain medication. In some cases, the pain might be severe enough to warrant opioid medication.
If you’re experiencing acute pain after surgery, we recommend icing the area for twenty minutes or so.
However, make sure that the ice bag is wrapped in a towel. That way, the cold isn’t coming in direct contact with your post-surgical site.
How to Prevent Hernias in the Future
If you’ve had a hernia, you likely want to do everything you can to prevent getting another one in the future. The good news is that there are some lifestyle modifications to reduce your chances of getting a hernia.
First, being overweight can cause hernias. People who are overweight stretch their abdominal lining, which makes them more susceptible to hernias.
So, losing weight can help prevent hernias. You can also try to eat more fiber. Without fiber in your diet, you’re more likely to experience constipation. This strain during bowel movements can result in hernias.
Lastly, consider going to physical therapy. A physical therapist can help you focus on training muscles around your hernia procedure site. When these muscles are strengthened, it can prevent hernias in the future.
Need Hernia Repair? Contact Surgco
We hope this guide helped you learn more about your options when it comes to hernia pain. Here at Surgco, we believe that the days of manual hernia repair are quickly disappearing in the rearview window.
The reality is that robot-assisted repair (like the kind that we offer) allows doctors to provide the most accurate and successful levels of requirements that are needed for hernias.
So if you want to find out if our services fit your needs, contact us today, and we’ll help you deal with any hernia pain you have.