Hernias occur when part of the internal tissue (fat, muscle, intestines etc) bulge through a weakness in the overlying abdominal wall.
They can cause pain, discomfort and other complications.
Symptoms of Inguinal Hernia
- Pain in the groin when you exercise
- Pain on increases in abdominal pressure such as when coughing or sneezing.
- A bulge in the groin area which often disappears when you lay down
If an inguinal hernia is not treated further contents of the abdomen (such as the intestines) can protrude into the hernia causing it to grow. The intestines can become pinched, causing blockages and ischema (a lack of blood to the area) which can cause fatal consequences.
Inguinal Hernia Explained
This is a protrusion of the contents of the abdomen (belly) through the inguinal canal. It usually appears as a swelling in the groin area. Eighty percent of all hernias are inguinal, men are 25 times more likely to suffer an inguinal hernia and 5% of the population will suffer an inguinal hernia.
Inguinal hernias can either be direct or indirect. Direct hernias happen when part of the abdomen herniates through a weak point in the abdominal wall and into the inguinal canal. Indirect hernias occur when part of the abdomen bulges through the deep inguinal ring (this is less common and occurs due to a birth defect.
The herniating tissues are at risk of complications such as strangulation (pinching) which can cause intestinal blockages and may cut off the blood supply which requires immediate treatment.
Treatment of Inguinal Hernia
What can the athlete do about it?
- You should see a Doctor immediately if you suspect a hernia.
- It will not get better through rest.
What can a doctor do about it?
- Operate - If the abdominal wall is ruptured it will not get better by resting and surgery to repair it will be needed.
- Operations should be performed at the earliest convenience.
- Hernias with complications such as strangulation may require emergency surgery.