Causes of Hernia
Other than umbilical hernia, all other types of hernia occur at a later stage in life. Hernia is usually caused due to weak abdominal walls. Part of the organs tends to protrude through the weakened spot of the abdominal wall. There are various reasons due to which the abdominal muscles can become weak. Some of them are:
• Previous surgery makes the tissues surrounding the abdomen weak.
• Coughing a lot puts excess strain on the stomach.
• The lifting of heavy objects which causes strain on the abdomen.
• Fluid in the abdominal cavity
• A family history of hernia
In most cases, hernia is not lethal and goes away after a simple treatment or minor surgery. However, in some cases, it does become immensely painful and cause a lot of discomfort while performing day to day activities. It is important to keep your lifestyle healthy if you want to avoid getting into this problem. Especially if you are a bodybuilder and lift heavy weights, you may need to stay extra cautious as you are at a high risk of developing a hernia.
Following are the five tips that will help you avoid hernia to live an active healthy lifestyle:
1) Exercising: Hernia occurs when your intestine pushes through a weak opening in your abdominal wall creating a bulge. Therefore, the best way to avoid this is by strengthening your core muscles and it can be done through exercising. Regular exercises help prevent weaknesses in the muscles and tissues. It stimulates the blood supply to all parts of the body and provide strength to fight with almost every problem. Some of the exercises that can be helpful to prevent a hernia are single leg squats, hip flexors, lateral leg lunges, abdominal bicycle crunch and many more. Discuss with your doctor to determine if any of these exercises is suitable for you.
2) Yoga and Meditation: It is no doubt that yoga and meditation can enhance the quality of your life. It does help with the flow of positive energy throughout the body, but certain yogic moves can remove the cause of problem from within. For example, performing gentle stomach muscle stretching around ten times can strengthen the weak abdominal muscles and prevent the risk of a hernia. If you already had a hernia in the past, it will prevent it from reoccurring. If you are a heavy weight lifter, yoga must be added to your daily regime. Deep breathing exercises are good for a hiatal hernia. This ensures the proper supply of oxygen near the chest cavity.
For an inguinal and umbilical hernia, pull your abdomen or tummy inside for 3 seconds and release slowly. Repeat this procedure ten times. This will keep your stomach/tummy muscles strong. You can do this several times a day. It can also be done anywhere in your office, home, park, etc. Avoid doing it for an hour before/after a meal.
Yoga Poses for Hernia:
Camel pose: It stretches your spine, back muscle, shoulder and arm.
Wheel pose: It increases the flexibility in your spine and opens up your shoulders and strengthen your upper back and thighs.
Bow pose: It improves the blood flow to the abdominal area and heals the digestive disorder.
Yoga Asanas for a Hernia:
Ushtrasana: It works on the entire respiratory system and nerves. It works for disorders in the neck, spine, throat and shoulder.
Pavanmuktasana: This helps to strengthen the stomach, abdomen, liver and pancreas.
Uthanpadaasana: Strengthens the spinal cord. Reduces paunch and improves the digestive system.
Vajraasana: Makes the entire body healthy.
Shashankasana: This stresses on the lower abdomen and improves the digestive system.
3) Avoid Smoking: Smoking is injurious to health and yes, it can cause hernia too. When you smoke, your body is loaded with lots of toxins that can negatively affect the body’s ability to produce enzymes which promote the growth of cells. This can also weaken the abdominal lining which ultimately tears with constant strain and pressure causing hernia. Nicotine which is present in a cigarette is one of the factors which weaken the abdominal wall. Also, the toxins present in a cigarette get accumulated in the lungs causing severe coughs. Hence, coughing puts a strain on the abdominal wall making it weak. All these toxins weaken your body as a whole. Avoid consumption of alcohol as the chemicals present in them will damage the stomach lining and your liver. Heavy smokers and alcoholics are prone to hernia.
4) Avoid Straining During Bowel Movement: If you are having constipation, you would be putting a lot of strain and pressure during bowel movement. This in turn strains your abdomen muscles making them weak. Ultimately, this weak lining can tear when you lift heavy weights or cough aggressively causing hernia. So if you want to avoid this, keep your digestive system healthy. Eat natural unprocessed foods that are easy to digest like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Drink around eight glasses of water every day. This will help prevent constipation. Coughing also puts a strain on your abdominal wall as mentioned earlier. Therefore, keep yourself away from things which make you cough. Stay away from dust and smoke or anything which you are allergic to. If possible, get to know and treat your allergies. Try covering your mouth as much as possible while traveling in public places to avoid dust and other similar particles.
5) Keep Your Body Weight Under Control: Being overweight is another risk factor of hernia. This point does not belong to body builders as they manage to keep their body weight under control and have lean muscles. However, people who live a sedentary lifestyle and remain inactive must keep this in mind. Getting fat in the stomach can stretch it, weakening the abdominal lining. Again, this can tear with strain causing hernia. Hence if you want to avoid this, keep your body weight under control. Make sure your BMI (Body Mass Index) is maintained below 25. BMI is the measure of fats in your body. It is calculated by dividing your weight by your height.
Hopefully, the above mentioned facts will help you stay healthy and avoid the risk of developing hernia.