An inguinal hernia occurs in the groin area where fatty or abdominal tissue pushes through the inguinal canal. Studies show it is more common in males > 50 years, however, can occur during pregnancy and in infants < 1 years old. Common causes can be from heavy lifting, or a chronic cough increasing the abdominal pressure through an already weakened muscle group. Family history is also a common contributing factor.
Symptoms that occur;
- Sharp pain with coughing
- Pain with sitting and flexion based activities
- Pain on increased use of effort such as heavy lifting or exercise
- A visible lump can be seen in the inguinal area (groin area) especially when sitting or standing
- Tenderness to touch or burning sensation in that area.
Diagnosis and Investigations
At Physica our physiotherapists are trained to exclude all musculoskeletal causes of pain as some lower abdominal strains and groin conditions can have similar symptoms. Through the use of some simple testing we can identify any potential risk of an inguinal hernia and refer on as necessary, this may include surgery.
- If appropriate hernia repair surgery is performed to remove the hernia and repair the widened muscles using a mesh fixation.
- Post – surgery it is advisable to see physiotherapy before returning to heavy lifting as this is a risk factor for recurrent episodes. Our Physiotherapists are able to provide you with detailed guidelines for return to heavy lifting at the gym or work and ensure the strengthening of the surgical site through abdominal and groin strengthening exercises.