3 Methods for Reducing Hernia Pain
Over-the-counter medications, ice packs and diet changes usually alleviate mild hernia pain, but individuals experiencing severe or persistent pain should see a doctor. Surgery, along with diet and lifestyle changes, are the best way to eliminate hernia pain.
Rest and Apply Ice
Ice reduces swelling and inflammation in and around the hernia, which eases the pain and reduces the size of the hernia. A hernia that is small enough can often slide back into place and alleviate any pain. Relax in a position that elevates the pelvic area above the head and use over-the-counter pain medications such as Motrin and Tylenol as needed to manage discomfort.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
In some cases, simple diet changes can reduce hernia pain. Small, light meals are generally the best choice, and doctors recommend that patients refrain from bending over or lying down after eating. A healthy diet and lifestyle can also minimize recurrences and protect individuals from future hernia complications. Exercise regularly, avoid smoking, drink plenty of water and eat a fiber-rich diet to prevent hernia pain.
Surgical Hernia Repair
Hernia pain that can't be resolved with the above methods, or a hernia that becomes incarcerated, usually requires surgical treatment. Open hernia surgery is best for extremely large hernias and individuals with a history of previous pelvic surgeries. Recovery time typically ranges from four to six weeks, with a minimal risk of complications. Laparoscopic hernia repair is a minimally-invasive procedure that offers a quicker recovery time but may carry an increased chance of recurrence.
Living with a hernia can be quite uncomfortable, but there are treatment options that can reduce or eliminate the pain. A noticeable lump or bulge beneath the skin is the most common symptom of a hernia, and many individuals also experience pain, burning or weakness in the area. A small hernia often causes no discomfort and resolves without treatment, while larger, painful hernias can benefit various treatment methods.