What Can Cause a Hernia?

Do you think you might have a hernia and are looking for more information on this condition? Hernias can affect many people, at many different stages of life.

Things that can cause a hernia

A hernia is the result of a part of the intestine or other organ poking through a weak spot in the abdomen or groin muscle. There are many different actions that can cause this to happen, but it should be noted that it can also be present at birth. The following are three factors that can cause a hernia.

Activity-caused hernias

There are many strenuous activities that can bring on a hernia within the body. These activities can range from heavy weight lifting or moving heavy furniture to a powerful sneeze or cough. However, the action itself is not the only component at play. Hernias are caused because of weaknesses within the muscle. These weak points could be from birth due to poor development, or with growing age.

Other life choices can also cause weak points in our muscles, such as smoking, obesity and poor nutrition. Though hernias are often caused by a sudden movement or activity, the core reason is the weakness that resided in the muscle, to begin with. Once this muscle weakness is present, the smallest action can cause a tear — whether it be getting up from a chair quickly or performing a bowel movement in the restroom.

Past surgical procedures

Certain types of hernias only occur after surgery at the site of the incision. Incisional hernias are caused when a portion of tissue protrudes through at the site of a surgical scar. These are typically found when the surgical site is in the abdomen. Individuals are most susceptible to this type of hernia within the first six months of recovery after surgery. During this time, the tissues are still healing and are in a weak state.

Hernias at birth

Babies can often have a hernia at birth, either at the umbilical cord area or in the groin area. These can also occur within the first few months of development after birth when the abdomen muscles are weak. The abdomen leaves a small space for the umbilical cord to pass through. Once the baby is born, this small space eventually closes up as the baby grows. However, part of the intestine or tissue can get caught in this small space before it can close up completely, causing a hernia. Hernias are more likely present at birth if the baby is premature or born at a low weight.

Do you currently have a hernia?

There are many activities that can cause a hernia to form, but the main cause is a weakness in the abdomen or groin muscles. If you feel sudden pain and maybe even notice a slight bulge in these areas after one of these activities, reach out to your doctor to find out if you have a hernia. Though hernias are not often life-threatening, they can cause discomfort and worsen over time.

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