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Insurance Article

How to Prevent Hernia When Lifting Weights

June 07 2017
Hernia

Heavy lifting is one of the main causes of hernia. Read on to know how to prevent it while working out.

Hernia is when a part of the intestine squeezes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscle lining. It is usually caused by genetics and can be present at birth or occur at a later stage in life due to muscle weakness. It is not dangerous, but it does not naturally heal itself. The only way to cure hernia is through surgery. If you suspect you have a hernia, it is recommended to visit a doctor and avail treatment before the condition gets worsened.

Causes of Hernia

Hernia is caused due to weakness or an opening in the muscle and pressure. This can be congenital or by other factors that cause muscle weakness. Congenital hernia is caused if the abdominal wall fails to close properly in the womb, which leads to muscle weakness. Persistent cough, diarrhoea, constipation, injury damages lead to the weakening of the abdominal lining. In addition to this, obesity, smoking, lifting heavy weights, and lack of adequate nutrition also increase the risk of hernia.

Types of Hernia

Hernia can be classified into various types depending on what area of the abdomen the organ breaks through. The types are:

  • Inguinal hernia – This is the most common type of hernia, because of natural weakness of the groin. It occurs when the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal. It accounts for 80% of hernias and is more common in men than women.

  • Femoral hernia – Femoral hernia occurs more in women and can be caused due to pregnancy related stress or obesity. It occurs when part of the intestine enters the canal carrying the femoral artery into the thigh.

  • Umbilical hernia – It occurs when the intestine protrudes through the abdominal wall near the navel. It can occur in babies under 6 months and normally goes away on its own by the time the child is 1 year old. Obese adults are also more susceptible to this type of hernia.

  • Hiatal hernia – Hiatal hernia occurs when the upper stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into the chest. This type can cause gastroesophageal reflux, leading to heartburn.

  • Incisional hernia – Incisional hernia occurs when the intestine pushes through the area of an abdominal surgery, usually at the incision scar or surrounding weakened tissue.

Steps to Prevent Hernia When Lifting Weights

Lifting heavy weights is one of the main causes of hernia as it strains your abdominal muscles. Occurrence of hernia due to heavy lifting is more common in people who do not lead active lifestyles and do heavy lifting after a long time. This usually becomes a concern for weight lifters or bodybuilders, but there are several hernia prevention measures to keep in mind while working out. Some of these are:

  • Remember to warm up – Heavy lifting puts your body under a lot of stress, which makes it important to warm up before you begin lifting weights or any other workout routine. Warm-up routines helps your body build endurance.

  • Start slow – No gym trainer is ever going to tell you to lift heavy weights from day one. Lift within your capacity and then gradually increase in small increments. This will prevent injuries to your body while working out.

  • Focus on your breathing technique – Inhale when you are lowering the weight and exhale when you are pushing it. Abdominal breathing is safer and stabilises your torso.

  • Don’t do forced reps – Often lifters go beyond their endurance just to finish their sets. Instead of building endurance, it can cause injuries or conditions such as hernia. It is more advisable when you can’t finish a set before starting another one.

While you must always take preventive measures, heavy lifting when you have hernia is not advisable. Hernia is a condition that can be treated only through surgery, so it is essential that you take all kinds of precautionary measures. Compare health insurance plans and get yourself the best health policy, which will provide you with financial assistance for your treatment.

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