The abdomen is surrounded by plenty of muscles to keep the intestines, stomach, colon and organs at their natural position. But in some people, these parts protrudes through a weak muscular wall surrounding the abdominal cavity. This condition is termed as Hernia. The most common site for hernia is abdomen; other possible sites are navel, upper thigh and groin area. Hernia is more common among men as compared to women. The most common type of a hernia that people suffer from is Inguinal. There are a few other types as well that we are about to explore below.
Types of Hernia
There are three type of hernia that is the most common among any other form. Namely Inguinal, Femoral and Umbilical. Depending on their severity they are further divided into two categories. One is a reducible hernia and another is irreducible. Let’s know a bit about them all one by one.
Inguinal (Groin): As you can guess, this type of hernia occurs in the groin area. At the time of fetus development in the womb, the testicles descend into the scrotum through the inguinal canal. An inguinal Hernia takes place when some part of the intestine begins to slide into the inguinal canal. Mostly men fall victim to this kind of hernia.
Umbilical (Navel): This type of hernia occur mostly in newborns. Other than babies, obese people or women who had many children are at the risk of an umbilical hernia. In this type of hernia, some part of the intestine or tissue finds its way through weak abdominal cavity into the navel. This results in the protrusion of the navel.
Femoral: We all have a large femoral artery that passes through the thigh. Its function is to provide the blood supply to the lower part of the body. When this artery slides from the abdomen to pass into the thigh, you call it femoral hernia. One can see a visible protrusion in the thigh. Pregnant and obese women are more likely to suffer from femoral hernia.
Nature of Hernia
Reducible: A hernia that can be pushed back into the abdominal cavity by merely applying some pressure is a reducible hernia. Most type of hernia falls under this category. The reoccurrence of such type of hernia can be completely prevented by certain yoga practices. Through yoga the weak sites of abdominal cavities become strong.
Irreducible: The possibility of such hernia to return back to its abdominal cavity is zero. In such cases, seeking an immediate medical attention is very important. As this form of hernia has the risk of strangulation. Gangrene (death of tissue due to lack of blood) may develop in some part of hernia, the worst possibility is the death of the patient.
What causes Hernia?
There are numerous reasons that contribute to the occurrence of hernia. The weakness of abdominal cavity allows the intestines to slide away. Now, abdominal muscles can become weak under many factors. The most initial reason for many people sets in before birth. As a child grows inside the womb of its mother, some developmental flaw might take place. In such cases, the hernia occurs right after the birth.
Overeating on regular basis puts excessive pressure on the intestines and abdominal cavity. Therefore, leading to the chances of hernia to take place. People who follow a sedentary lifestyle or never exercise are also at a great risk. Lack of exercise makes the abdominal muscles weak, loose and flabby over time. Another factor that plays role is pregnancy and childbirth. Though this could be avoided by practicing several yoga poses.
In young people (mostly men), the cause is often lifting heavy weight. Attempting to lift something too heavy (or beyond capacity) without proper care, causes a severe damage to abdominal muscles. To the extent that even muscles and ligament may also tear apart. Hernia happens immediately in such cases. Straining while you pass stool is also harmful to the body in a long run.
How yoga can help?
Yoga works as preventive rather than curative when it comes to Hernia. A newly grown Hernia can benefit a lot from yoga. Especially the one caused due to fragile abdominal muscles. But yoga practice cannot be attempted when there is a large protrusion. First, medical care or surgery may be necessary to realign the body parts back into their position. After that, following a yoga program will ensure the prevention of future reoccurrence of Hernia. Following yoga practices will help you cope with Hernia.
Important Note: Before you start the yoga practice, consult with your doctor. Learn these poses only under the guidance of a competent yoga teacher. If there is any complication (back pain, heart problem, joint pain etc.), be careful about the contradictions of each yoga pose.
Yoga poses for Hernia
Titli Asana (Butterfly Pose): Strengthen thighs and stretch groin by practicing Titli asana.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose): Practicing Matsyasana is a great way to stretch abdominal muscles, organs and intestines.
Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose): Vajrasana will strengthen the muscles of your pelvic area.
Shashankasana (Child’s Pose): From Vajrasana bend forward directly into Shashankasana. It tones the pelvic muscles by putting gentle pressure on pelvis as you practice.
Marjariasana (Cat/Cow Pose): A gentle stretch to the abdomen in Marjariasana tones the abdominal muscles.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose): Another yoga posture to stretch the intestines and stomach. Practice Ustrasana to never allow a hernia to occur again.
Yogamudrasana (Psychic Union Pose): Give an extremely beneficial massage to your abdominal organs by practicing Yogamudrasana and gain abdominal strength.
Supta Vajrasana (Sleeping Thunderbolt Pose): Gives an intense stretch to abdominal organs by practicing Supta Vajrasana.
Naukasana (Boat Pose): Energize your body and tone all the internal organs by practicing Naukasana.
Complete the yoga practice by relaxing the mind and body in Shavasana for at least five minutes. Eat light vegetarian diet and be as active as you can. Take small steps to move towards a healthy lifestyle.