What Are Hernias And Why Are They Dangerous?
A hernia occurs when an organ or intestines break through the muscle wall of the groin or abdomen. This creates a noticeable bulge in the afflicted area. Pain levels vary. For some, hernias cause only slight discomfort. For others, hernias can cause gut-wrenching pain. If left untreated, hernias can be dangerous to health. All men and women should know the signs and symptoms of hernias.
What causes hernias?
Hernias can occur in both men and women for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:
- Lifting weights or heavy objects continuously
For example, babies can be born with hernias when the abdominal muscles do not fully develop during pregnancy. However, these hernias can go away by the time the child turns 5, as the child’s body develops.
Hernias in men vs women
Often, hernias are thought of as a male condition because of the association with lifting heavyweights. Men are also more likely to report the intense pain of a hernia. But some hernias like umbilical and femoral, are more common in women than in men. An umbilical hernia develops due to weak abdominal muscles around the naval cavity. This type of hernia occurs primarily in pregnant women and obese women.
Another hernia that is common in women is the femoral hernia. This type affects the femoral cavity and artery, an area near the upper thigh and groin area. The hernia develops from intra-abdominal tissue that breaks through the femoral canal. Not all femoral cavities are the same. Some people are born with weak canals, and others develop weakened femoral cavities over time.
Much like a femoral hernia, a sports hernia affects the groin area. The critical difference between the two is the type of injury. A sports hernia is a tear that forms in the oblique muscles or tendons of the lower abdominal region. The official medical term for a sports hernia is athletic pulbagia. The injury was dubbed a sports hernia because this hernia is most likely to develop during intense physical activity like playing hockey. A sports hernia is not a full-fledged hernia, but the injury can lead to the formation of a hernia. Sports hernias do not form any bulges, but if the tear doesn’t heal, an inguinal hernia may form. More women are developing sports hernias than in the past due to increased physical activity.
How do doctors treat hernias?
First, doctors must examine the area to determine the type of hernia. Doctors encourage patients to describe symptoms in-depth to help diagnose the hernia type. The only way to repair a hernia is through surgery. For more information regarding surgery and treatment options, speak with a healthcare provider.