A hernia is caused by a weakening of the abdominal wall that leads to a bulge or tear in the area. Though a hernia can be located anywhere in the abdominal area, the majority occur near the groin area. For this reason, the primary hernia symptom is a painful bulging near the groin. The pain may become worse with lifting or may be a constant dull ache.
Sometimes, a feeling of fullness can indicate a hernia. Most often, it causes an ache or pain that tends to get worse with heavy lifting or excessive coughing, although coughing is not a hernia symptom. A notable protrusion in the abdomen or groin area can be an obvious sign, but all lumps, protrusions, or swelling should always be evaluated by a medical professional to determine if they are a hernia or another problem, like enlarged lymph nodes or an abnormal growth.
Hernias are often caused by excessive strain to the abdominal area due to heavy lifting, excessive coughing, or other similar stresses on the abdominal wall. Many people who experience pain, discomfort, bulging, or other symptoms hesitate to tell a healthcare professional because they fear that they'll need an operation. Many hernias can be treated without surgery, however, if they are diagnosed early before any potentially serious damage is done. If a hernia involves damage to the abdominal lining, abdominal wall, or intestine, surgical repair can most often be done on an outpatient basis.
Anyone who has marked pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or groin area, notices a protrusion that aches or is painful, or has other symptoms should see a medical professional right away. A physical exam is necessary to determine if a person has a hernia, and the healthcare practitioner may order further tests or examinations to determine the proper course of treatment. Many hernias can heal on their own under the right circumstances, and the initial hernia symptoms can be quickly relieved.