If you recently found out that you have a hernia, treatment should be started immediately. It's best to follow your doctor's directions, but there are also things you can do yourself - and you need to avoid. We will tell you how to treat a hernia and how to avoid its recurrence in the future. To keep your pain under control, start at step 1.
Part 1 of 2: Treating a hernia
Step 1. Use cold to relieve pain
An ice pack will help soothe hernia pain. However, don't push too hard! The pressure can hurt even more. Just wrap the ice in a towel and apply it to the sore spot for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the ice; when the place of the compress warms up, repeat the procedure if necessary.
Cold can also help relieve swelling. However, severe edema requires immediate medical attention
Step 2. Try to avoid heavy lifting
There are many jobs and household chores that require a lot of muscle effort. You should avoid anything, be it moving furniture, building construction or picking up children.
You run the risk of getting an exacerbation of the hernia with excessive muscle tension, especially where you have weak muscles
Step 3. Avoid food that you think might make the situation worse
You should avoid eating foods that can cause bloating or stomach discomfort, even minimal. Any food that causes the slightest bout of heartburn, indigestion, or nausea should be removed from the diet.
Examples of foods to avoid are alcoholic beverages, caffeinated beverages, chocolate, tomatoes, fatty and spicy foods, and foods and beverages high in acid (such as lemons, oranges, or strawberries)
Step 4. Do yoga
Yoga is one of the best ways to improve your condition for a hernia. Here's a simple exercise: suck in your stomach, hold it in this position for 3 seconds, then slowly relax. Repeat 10 times. You can do this exercise every hour throughout the day. After eating, you need to take a two-hour break.
Once you get used to this exercise, you can lengthen the time and keep your belly sucked in for 5 or 7 seconds
Step 5. Pay attention to the hernial bands and belts
They are used to hold the hernia in place by applying pressure to the area. Wear a bandage to prevent the hernia from enlarging or pinching.
- A bandage is only a temporary measure used before surgery. It is not recommended to wear the bandage for a long time, as constant pressure can weaken the tissues.
- Over time, wearing a bandage can help heal a reparable hernia.
Step 6. Consider open surgery
It is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision near the bulge that has formed under the skin. The organ that has come out in the form of a hernia returns to its normal position. After that, the muscle tissue is sutured again. Basically, this is a relatively simple operation.
In other cases, a "patch" of biomaterial is installed over the abdominal wall defect. Gradually, the material will grow together with the tissues of the body, strengthening the place where the hernia was
Step 7. Consider laparoscopy
Laparoscopy is a more gentle surgical technique. It is not as traumatic as it lacks an incision; accordingly, the recovery period after such an operation is shorter. This is how it works:
- A camera is inserted into the abdominal cavity. Two to four punctures are made in the abdominal wall to provide access for surgical instruments and a laparoscope (video camera).
- To create an operative space, the abdominal cavity is inflated with carbon dioxide. The surgeon sees the entire course of the operation on the screen.
- With the help of special tools, the doctor will correct the hernia.
- When the hernia is repositioned, gas is released from the abdominal cavity and the punctures are sutured.
Part 2 of 2: Preventing future complications
Step 1. Avoid muscle tension
It is not recommended for anyone, especially the elderly. Their muscles are already weakened, so they don't have to put in a lot of effort. This applies to anything from lifting weights to straining while having a bowel movement. Such efforts affect not only the muscles, but also some organs.
To avoid stress during bowel movements, try to have regular bowel movements, drink plenty of water, and older people should prefer soft foods and avoid foods that can cause constipation
Step 2. Quit smoking
Smoking can irritate the digestive system, thereby exacerbating the complications. It is recommended to quit smoking, as smoking causes lung problems and the accompanying chronic cough. When you cough like this, your lungs tense up - and if you have a hernia, it's important to keep your muscles from tense.
A chronic smoker's cough is a progressive cough that never goes away. The result is tension in the walls of the abdominal cavity or diaphragm. If you have it, see your doctor for proper treatment to prevent complications such as a hernia
Step 3. Lose excess weight
Obesity can cause a hernia - when the abdominal muscles are weakened as a result of obesity, it is difficult for them to hold on to organs and tissues. To reduce your risk of this disease (and many, many others), start a weight loss program immediately. Even five pounds lost will play a big role!
Obesity is one of the factors of many diseases and disorders in the body. If minimizing the risk of hernia is not enough incentive to take action, consider losing weight to live longer, lower your risk of heart attack and diabetes, and simply reduce the strain on your muscles and joints
Step 4. Eat healthy foods
A diet rich in fiber promotes normal peristalsis by preventing excess tension in the abdomen. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and drink enough fluids to avoid constipation.
- Raspberries, pears, apples, peas, beans, artichokes, broccoli, lentils, and nuts are high in fiber.
- You can also take a fiber-rich product that makes bowel movements easier (such as Metamucil). Just stir one or two tablespoons of the preparation in water.
Step 5. Try to change your daily lifestyle
If your hobby or profession involves lifting weights or other muscle tension, it is recommended that you change this if possible. The same applies to prolonged standing. You need to lead a fairly mobile lifestyle, but without unnecessary stress on your back, abdomen and leg muscles.