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What are the Different Types of Hernia Treatment?

By Nicole Long
Updated May 17, 2024
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Hernia treatment depends on the type of hernia and a physician’s review of each individual case. Various types of hernia exist, including those that occur in the abdomen and thigh, which require specialized treatment. Hernia treatment options usually include surgery but can also consist of at-home care in specific situations.

Thin membranes typically help hold the contents of various body cavities in place. When any portion of these contents begins to bulge outside of the membrane, physicians describe this as a hernia. In most cases, the contents that bulge outside of the membrane are the intestines or fatty tissues of the abdomen.

Hernias can exist in several areas of the body. The majority of hernias occur in the abdominal region and groin area, and these are referred to as abdominal-wall hernias and inguinal hernias, respectively. Other types of hernia include femoral hernias and umbilical hernias.

Treatment depends on whether the hernia is reducible, irreducible, or strangulated. All necessitate a different level of care and treatment. The designation of a hernia will also dictate the urgency of the situation.

The term reducible refers to the ability of the hernia to be pushed back into place. In most cases, physicians prefer surgical measures to accomplish this. If patients have pre-existing medical conditions that make surgery risky, a physician may offer alternative at-home hernia treatment measures.

Home hernia treatment may be suggested for some reducible hernias. This can include using what is referred to as an abdominal binder to help hold the hernia in place and allow the hernia to heal on its own. Patients should avoid heavy lifting and coughing during treatment. Bindings are not an option for femoral hernias.

Treatment options are different for irreducible hernias. They require emergency surgery to prevent strangulation of the blood supply going to various organs and tissues. In some instances, patients who have experience a reducible hernia in the past may experience irreducible hernias later in life. An irreducible hernia that has already cut off blood supply, typically to the intestine, is considered a strangulated hernia, which is a medical emergency and requires emergency surgery.

Prevention may not always be possible, but some precautions can be taken to reduce the possibility of developing a hernia or worsening a current hernia. This includes maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding heavy lifting. Other activities, such as straining during bowel movements and coughing, can also lead to a hernia.

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Discussion Comments

By ddljohn — On Jan 31, 2014

I just found out that I don't need hernia surgery. I was very worried about this because my hernia symptoms suddenly worsened last week. I have numbness, tingling, needles and pins in both legs. I can barely walk.

My doctor had me get another MRI and said that the hernia is not bad enough to require surgery. But I have to get muscle relaxing and pain relieving injections. I'm due for a cortisone shot next week as well. Hopefully the steroid and the other injections will be enough to resolve my symptoms.

By stoneMason — On Jan 30, 2014

@fify-- Have you tried herbal salves and oils? Some natural oils and salves have pain relieving properties. Eucalyptus, camphor and capsaicin are ingredients that can reduce pain. Look for creams and products with these ingredients at the pharmacy.

I personally use a pain relieving oil with capsaicin. This is an ingredient found in chili pepper. It's great for pain. I mix a small amount with olive oil and apply this to my back every day. It really works. Many topical products for arthritis contain capsaicin.

By fify — On Jan 30, 2014

Does anyone here have a back hernia? How do you relieve the pain?

I've been taking oral pain killers, but I'm looking for other options.

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