The term "hernia" is used to describe a specific type of condition that can occur in different parts of the body. Most commonly, hernias develop in the abdominal area. It is caused by the muscles in the abdominal wall becoming weaker, allowing for the development of a hole. If you have a family history of hernias, or if you have had one in the past, you may be looking for ways to prevent a hernia. The information below may be of benefit to you.

If you develop a hernia, you are likely to experience localized pain. Additionally, depending on its severity, you may also notice a palpable or even visible lump. Less obvious hernia symptoms include pressure on one of your internal organs. If the hernia is very severe, organs may become dysfunctional. There are also many conditions that can make it more likely to develop a hernia and some of the best ways to prevent a hernia is to avoid those types of conditions if possible. These include abdominal surgery, aging, overstraining, pregnancy, and heavy lifting.

A hernia can happen in various parts of the body, but it is most common in the femoral and inguinal canals. This is where vessels are able to go down into the legs and scrotum. Another part of the body where hernias are particularly common is the navel or umbilical region. This is believed to be in part related to genes, because the condition is very common in certain families.

If you have had abdominal surgery in the past, the abdominal wall can become weakened and this increases the chance of developing a hernia. Many hernias are caused by people straining their stomach muscles, for instance during exercises, bowel movements, or heavy lifting. In fact, weightlifters and bodybuilders are at a particular risk of developing a hernia.

Understanding Hernias:

Hernias are potentially dangerous conditions. If left untreated, they can strangle the intestine, which is a medical emergency. A hernia is essentially a bulge of either abdominal fatty tissue or the intestine, which is normally enclosed in the abdominal cavity. Interestingly, hernias can actually happen anywhere, including in the brain, but they are commonly found in the abdominal area. In and of themselves, hernias are harmless, but they can cause serious complications when they strangle the intestines, or if they cut off blood supply.

Ways to Prevent a Hernia:

There are several ways to prevent a hernia. One of the main ways is to keep the abdominal wall strong through stretches and exercises. Other ways include:

  • Warming up properly before you engage in exercise or athletic activities
  • Performing strength exercises on the abdominal muscles
  • Giving yourself plenty of time to rest after you have done some exercises, and particularly if you do some weightlifting
  • Stopping smoking, as chronic cough can lead to the development of a hernia
  • Making sure you eat plenty of foods with fiber, so that you do not become constipated
  • Making sure you maintain your weight and don't become obese, as the excess weight and fatty tissue can lead to a hernia