I have a small inguinal or femoral hernia. I want to know what I can do?
What is a hernia?
A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or tissue (fascial lining) out of the body cavity in which it normally lies, this results in a small palpable nodule which can cause pain and discomfort or can also be quite asymptomatic. A hernia is labelled depending on the anatomical location it is found. A femoral hernia occurs when there is a protrusion of part of the bowel at the top of the thigh, through the point at which the femoral artery passes from the abdomen to the thigh. An inguinal hernia is the protrusion or rupture or a sac of peritoneum through the lower abdominal wall.
Medical diagnosis is required to determine the difference as they are similar and located in the same area.
What causes a hernia?
- muscle strain
- violent coughing
- weaknesses may also occur due to an inherited tendency, pregnancy, obesity, repetitive strain or twisting or post-operatively.
Medical treatment of a hernia
There is a medical procedure which can help to recorrect some hernias with success however if the weakness of the connective tissue is not address then the condition may continue to be a problem. The surgery usually involves a small incision being made close to the site of the hernia and is done as a day surgery procedure under anaesthesia. It is best to address a hernia as quickly as possible to improve the chances of recovery and to reduce the chances of it reoccuring.
Lifestyle factors for a hernia
- Strength building exercises so that the weakness is supported but not exacerbated through over doing it. Build the pelvic floor area of the abdomen by doing gentle core strength work.
- Never exercise with a full stomach as this increases the pressure in the abdominal cavity.
- Avoid constipation and straining to pass a stool
- In the case of a hernia, prevention is the key
- Cold compresses are recommended for acute pain relief rather than hot packs
- Never massage over the hernia as this can exacerbate the symptoms
Natural remedies for a hernia
- Herbs which may be of benefit are Horsetail, Calendula and Gotu Kola
- The mineral Magnesium is a relaxant for the muscles and may help recovery and to reduce muscular tension in the area
- Silica, Calcium phosphate, Magnesium phosphate and Calcium flouride are two minerals which are needed to strengthen connective tissues and increase the integrity of the tissues so that a rupture is less likely to reoccur
- Apply Comfrey ointment to the area as this herb is high in Silica for connective tissue integrity
- Supplementation of Vitamin C may help to provide better connective tissue strength and repair