The Herniabible Blog

advice from people who have had an inguinal hernia

Do I Need To Wear A Truss For My Hernia?

This is one of the questions we are most frequently asked about hernias treatment, especially by men who feel that their inguinal hernia is quite small and insignificant. Our answer is this.

An inguinal hernia is a part of your intestine bulging through a gap or tear in the muscles of your intestinal wall. When intestines continue to protrude through this gap, they prevent that tear or rupture from healing itself. It’s like trying to heal a cut while keeping your finger permanently in it.

A good hernia support isn’t just helpful to prevent pain and/or discomfort – it forms part of an inguinal hernia treatment by keeping the intestine inside, where it belongs, and so gives the edges of the rupture a chance to come together and hopefully to knit back together again. As far as hernias treatment is concerned, it’s a bit like wearing a plaster cast to support a broken leg while it heals.

To be effective, your hernia support or truss must have pads that remain in contact with your hernia at all times, and do not intrude into the aperture. Rounded pads that bulge inwards can both hinder healing and cause scarring to the edges of the hernia. The Flat Pad Support was designed to support the hernia without intruding into it.

Will Wearing A Support Or Truss Make My Muscles Lazy?
Some individuals are worried that wearing a support will make their muscles lazy. This is completely unfounded and unproven. If it were true, people would not be reporting that their hernias have healed (see Anthony’s story below).

An exercise programme is also an important part of hernias treatment to help heal an inguinal hernia. It is easier to do the exercises if the bulge is controlled by wearing a support.

When Not To Wear A Support
You should not wear a support if your hernia cannot be pushed all the way back in, or if the support causes any pain or discomfort.

Will wearing a support increase the risk of strangulation?
We have not found any evidence that strangulation of the hernia can occur if the hernia is properly supported and kept in. But as always, do check with your doctor if you are experiencing any discomfort or if you are not sure whether your hernia is properly “in”.

Is it true that hernias treatment requires surgery to prevent strangulation?
Strangulation occurs when the gap through which the intestine protrudes, closes up too tightly around the protruding intestine. This may be caused by muscular tension or by the gap attempting to heal. Although there are not yet clinical trials to prove this, wearing a support to keep the intestine inside the abdomen makes it much less likely that strangulation will occur.

More information about the Flat Pad Inguinal Hernia Support from the Support Company

For more information about whether a hernia can heal itself, please visit this section of our Forum.


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April 7, 2010 Posted by | Inguinal hernia, Keeping hernia in, Wearing a support | | 14 Comments

Getting A Hernia To Go Back In

Keeping a hernia in is very important, but the longer it has been “out” the more difficult it may be to push it back in. This is possibly because the discomfort causes chronic muscular tension in the area. The following case reports might help you if you have this problem.

BTDT’s story
One of our forum members, “BTDT” found that whether he wore a hernia support or not, a lot of heat seemed to build up in the groin area. Both the heat and the hernia bulge would subside whenever he temporarily stopped eating solid food and just drank vegetable juices.

When BTDT lost his job he decided to go on unemployment and have a rest. Almost immediately his life became much less stressful.

Next he tried an experiment with his hernia. As heat would still build up in the area when he ate solid food, BTDT started to put cloths soaked in cold water over his groin area before going to sleep. This cooled down the area straight away and when he woke up in the morning, he felt much more refreshed and almost forgot he had a hernia.

This worked so well that two or three times a week he would also hold something cold against the hernia, for instance a cold drinks can or a plastic water bottle that had been kept in the fridge.

After three months the hernia had completely disappeared. As BTDT says, he did nothing else to get rid of it except rest and relaxation, removal of the heat, and less solid food to place strain on the area.

BTDT believes that maybe the heat from the hernia was keeping the muscles soft and weak so they couldn’t tighten up and allow the abdominal wall to grow back together.

SD’s story
SD had had his hernia for at least 20 years. “Usual thing left hand always in pocket or ready for any instant physical effort the moment it starts to bulge.” He wasn’t too concerned as he was always able to push it back in ok.

But SD had a couple of scary moments when the hernia would not go back in for up to a minute. Afraid it would descend into the sac he immediately lay down on the bed on his back, hips in the air and with knees fully bent. Using all the physical effort he could muster he eventually managed to stuff it all back in.

SD was a workaholic with shredded nerves and difficulty sleeping. Shopping one day in the supermarket and wanting to buy some washing up liquid, he found himself staring at it on the shelf yet completely unable to know what to do next. “Add to that both hands were holding the hernia in like crazy, I was really desperate to pay up (with one hand) and rush back to the car!!” he says.

Fortunately SD’s work schedule dwindled and one day when he had been reading a really interesting book for two or three hours, he suddenly noticed he felt very relaxed indeed and that the hernia had gone in by itself.

“It was the feeling of deep relaxation that struck me most of all. That evening I started to think a lot more about it and although I had a fair bit to do the next day, I decided as an experiment to drop everything and force myself to spend the day reading to see if it would happen again. But I found this extremely irritating and very difficult as I couldn’t concentrate on the story at all. I kept wanting to rush off to do whatever I’d planned originally, none of which fortunately was all that important. Eventually after about half an hour I managed to become interested and get back into the story once more, finally spending the whole day having a good old long and relaxing read. Again the hernia had vanished!”

“It’s still early days, but it does seem, for me anyway, that stress must somehow be involved somewhere, and that doing something that is naturally relaxing might seem to be a possible cure and answer. I’ve since found that when I get worked up about something the hernia goes back into its old “semi-bulge” position. Not too much of a problem but always with my left hand immediately ready to push it back in just in case. I’m finding it doesn’t work to rush around and then try to find a moment to “de-stress”. The most effective approach seems to be to somehow hang on to the most relaxed and earliest moments of the day – throughout the whole of the day. Or at least for as long as possible.”


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April 7, 2009 Posted by | Keeping hernia in | | 9 Comments