A sudden onset of pain, sometimes accompanied by a bulge, weakness, or burning, could be a sign of a hernia. But what exactly is a hernia, and what can you do about it? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
What Is a Hernia?
The muscles in your body that help you move and perform bodily functions have another purpose you might not have thought about: keeping your organs in place. A hernia occurs when your muscles tear or naturally gap, allowing one of your organs to push through the hole. There are several types of hernias, including:
- Inguinal Hernia. Occurring most commonly in men, an inguinal hernia occurs when the small intestine pushes into the inguinal canal in the groin. You might notice a bulge around your groin, as well as experience pain, a burning sensation, or weakness.
- Hiatal Hernia. Occurring most commonly in people over 50, a hiatal hernia happens when the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm into the stomach cavity. This type of hernia can result in acid reflux, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.
- Incisional Hernia. When you have surgery, the resulting incision site tends to be weak for a while. Your organs might push through this weakened tissue, resulting in an incisional hernia, which occurs mainly in the abdomen. You might have a visible bulge that grows when you lean over or cough, as well as some discomfort.