Hernia is a localized bulge that occurs when you have a hole or weakness in the muscular wall. Your internal part of the body may push and protrude through this weakness spot. Though the problem is quite common and often pain-free, it can also sometimes cause a number of significant discomforts. Can it also cause back pain?
The way of how hernias develop can vary. Some occur at birth, and some are there after certain surgical procedures. But in most cases, they‘re more likely to occur with age! The strength of the muscular wall declines gradually over time, and eventually you may have a weakness spot in the abdominal muscles that allow your organs /tissues to bulge.
Being older is not the only one to blame. Because the risk of developing the disease can also increase when the muscular wall of your stomach are under abnormal, higher than normal pressure – if you’re extremely obese, suffer from a chronic cough, have a frequent heavy lifting, and have a chronic cough for examples!
Your hernia symptoms are usually dependent on several factors especially such the severity and location of the problem. Even in some cases, it may not cause any symptoms. But in general, the symptoms include:
- A visible bulge, lump, or swollen area. The bulge of hernia can occur in several locations, the common ones are in the abdomen and groin.
- Sometimes the bulge is painful to touch, though not always. You usually have pain or discomfort (especially around the bulge) on exertion such as when lifting, straining, or coughing. It may also have a pulling sensation.
- The bulge usually enlarges on exertion, and it may look smaller (almost invisible) when you’re lying down.
- Digestive upsets; constipation for example.
- It’s also possible to have uncomfortable, heavy feeling in the intestine especially when you’re bending over.
The problem doesn’t always bother you a lot – even again, you may have no any symptom. Therefore, treatment is not always necessary. But if the bulge gets larger and it’s now bothering you a lot, some treatments are available. Sometimes surgical procedure is recommended to repair the bulge.
Luckily, in most cases it is not immediately life-threatening. However, there is a chance for the problem to turn into serious and cause serious obstruction such as a condition called ‘strangulation’.
The contents of hernia can sometimes get trapped and more difficult to be pushed back in. Over time this may cause obstruction that will cut off the blood flow the affected area. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, severe pain, difficulty passing stools and gas. Strangulated hernia is an emergency condition, and therefore immediate surgery is usually required.
Can hernia cause back pain?
Worldwide, millions of people have ongoing back pain. Yup, it’s a common condition and will usually improve with some lifestyle measures. But sometimes there may be an underlying condition behind the problem.
Back pain that behaves abnormally (for examples it doesn’t respond with lifestyle measures, it becomes chronic, or lasts longer than usual) is associated with a number of health conditions. The common ones are as follows:
- Problems affecting discs of your spine vertebrae such as degenerative disc disease, ruptured /bulging discs, and slipped /herniated disc. Your spine is designed with discs that act as ‘shock absorbers’ between each vertebra. If there something that goes awry with these discs, this could be painful in your back.
- Spinal stenosis (a narrowed spinal canal), scoliosis, spine fractures, or other spine-related problems.
- Arthritis, especially such as osteoarthritis that often affects lower back. Sometimes arthritis can also cause spinal stenosis, a condition that narrows the space around the spinal cord.
- Osteoporosis, bone fractures.
Another common cause is ligament or muscle strain. A frequent sitting for long hours or a quick awkward movement, for examples, may strain your spinal ligament and back muscles. In less common cases, back pain is a consequence of fibromyalgia, osteomyelitis, kidney stones, or something else.
How about hernia?
Constipation is a condition in which you have difficulty in completely emptying your bowel or difficulty in passing stools regularly. It can affect people of all ages (it’s a common condition), and the severity can vary from person to person.
Your back is responsible to support and stabilize your body – it’s more vulnerable to strain and injury. So it’s not uncommon to have back pain along with constipation and abdominal bloating.
As mentioned earlier, constipation is common in people with hernias (especially for umbilical femoral, incisional, and inguinal hernias – see also types of hernia). It can make you need extra straining during bowel movement, putting more strain on your back.
And while constipation is a common symptom of hernia, it can also make the disease worse. If you have constipation with hernia, emphasize rich-fiber foods such as whole grains and vegetables to help relieve the problem and prevent straining.
Sometimes hernia symptoms can be very bothersome. When the symptoms flare up, they may interfere with your daily routines including your sleep. In fact, some patients find that it’s not easy to sleep at night when the symptoms worsen.
And having sleep deprivation can put you at high risk of developing back pain. According to some studies – compared to others, people with lack of restful-sleep (deep sleep) are more vulnerable to experience back pain. If your hernia symptoms do bother your sleep a lot, talk to your doctor!