June is Hernia Awareness Month, a time to learn about the signs and symptoms.
A hernia can be extremely painful, but if you have one, you’re not alone. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 5 million Americans suffer from hernias.
A hernia is a defect or hole in the abdominal wall. Doctors say you’re usually born with it. If you strain or do a lot of heavy lifting the defect in the abdominal wall can become larger and structures can start to poke through like a piece of fat or even a piece of intestine.
“Everyone who has a hernia is at least going to get a small bulge and pain," said Timothee J. Friesen, M.D., a general and bariatric surgeon at GBMC. "Those are the most common things. So the pain and the bulge will be either in the groin, the belly button, or it can be the space in between the belly button and the ribs."
Dr. Friesen also said people who exercise a lot will often get a strain in their groin and think it’s a hernia. Although he said that’s usually just an injury of the connective tissue in the area.
It's important to note, not all hernias cause pain, there might just be a bulge.