A hernia is the development of a protrusion of an organ through a cavity wall that contains the organ. For instance, an umbilical hernia is the protrusion of abdominal contents through the abdominal muscles and subsequently appear as a bulge on the umbilicus or the navel. There are other types of hernia, which require specific managements depending on the location. Nevertheless, there are general symptoms and treatments for all types of hernia, and believe it or not, even your local Tampa chiropractor may be able to help.

Symptoms of Hernia

Hernia occurs with the following symptoms:

  1. Visible protrusion over the cavity that contains the organ
  2. Most hernia appear as a visible protrusion through the abdominal wall, inguinal area and the like depending on the location of the abnormality. In cases of protrusion of the spinal discs in the case of sciatica, the bulge may be visible through a CT scan or MRI. In the same line, hiatal hernias involving the protrusion of the stomach into the mediastinum may be visible through ultrasound.
  3. Palpable lump
  4. In other instances, the protrusion may also be palpable. The presence of a palpable lump may also vary depending on the type of hernia. Reducible hernias usually present with a visible and palpable lump that can be replaced back to the cavity where it is normally contained. On the other, irreducible hernias cannot be manipulated.
  5. Pain is not a general symptom of hernia because some types may be pain-free. Irreducible or incarcerated hernias are the ones that occur with pain as the organ is usually strangulated causing poor oxygenration and nerve compression. The pain may also occur with tenderness.
  6. Other associated  symptoms may include nausea and vomiting especially when the hernia is located in the abdominal area. Discoloration may also be present on the bulge as poor circualtion to the area can change the color into pink, red, or dark purple. Moreover, fever can also develop in cases of bowel obstructioon and perforation as a sign of infection.

Treatments of Hernia

Hernias are generally managed through surgery (herniorrhapy) to bring the organs and tissues back to their original anatomic position and prevent the obstruction of the affected organs. Afterwhich, the weak muscles are supported with a mesh or through sutures to prevent recurrence. Surgery prevents multiorgan dysfunction as a result of organ strangulation and gangrene. However, surgery can aslo have its drawbacks such as post operative pain, bleeding, infection and the effects of anesthesia. Post operative complications are usually avoided through laparoscopic hernia repair, which minimizes the size of surgical incision that need to be done to access the hernia.

For uncomplicated hernias such as in reducible hernias without organ dysfunction, supportive belts may also be used to provide pressure over the abdominal wall to hold the organs in place and prevent the protrusion.

The actual treatment regimen for hernia depend on the type, location and symptoms of the patient. It is important to seek medical consult early to prevent possible organ strangulation, gangrene and organ dysfunction. It is also important to avoid lifting heavy weights in the presence of hernia since lifting may cause the increase in pressure in the abdominal cavity leading to further protrusion.