Pelvic floor patient receiving treatment for hernia pain at Pelvic Health Physical Therapy in Madison, NJ.

Hernia Pain

What is a hernia?

A hernia is a weakness or tear in the abdominal muscle wall, which normally holds the inner lining of the abdomen and internal organs in place (i.e. inside, where they belong). The weakness or tear allows the inner lining to protrude and form a pouch. The bulge you might see is usually a loop of intestine protruding through the tear in the muscle and into that pouch.

Contrary to popular myth (about lifting heavy objects), you didn't cause your hernia. Most people are born with a weakness in the muscle, which eventually gives way, or an opening that didn't close up (as it usually does) before birth.

Symptoms of a hernia can be any of the following:

• A sudden, sharp pain in the groin area or a sensation as if something has “torn” even if you experience no other symptoms.
• A dull ache, feeling of weakness, heaviness, pressure, tingling, or a burning sensation in your abdomen, groin, or scrotum that may get worse when you stand for long periods. The pain may also get worse if you strain your abdominal muscles when coughing, lifting heavy objects, play sports, or have a bowel movement. Rest may help.
• A visible soft bulge in the groin area or scrotum that you can push back in with gentle pressure or that gets smaller or disappears when you lie down. The bulge may get bigger over the course of the day or when you cough, bend, lift, or strain.

Important: If you have a bulge that cannot be pushed back inside, that is red, purple, or dark, or have pain with fever, chills, and/or vomiting, go to your hospital emergency room or call 911. Don't wait — this may indicate an emergency that can become life-threatening.

What's The Next Step?

At Pelvic Health Physical Therapy, our certified physical therapists will provide you with a thorough evaluation to determine what the best treatment plan will be for you. We understand how inhibiting pain and stiffness can be, and we want to help get you back to comfortably living your life. We'll help lift all of your physical stresses away!

Please email to book an appointment, or call our office at 908-443-9880.