Health Matters

What is a hernia?

What they are and how to prevent them.


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Over 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with hernias annually. Dr. Brian Reed, Chair of Clinical Sciences at the Tillman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine explains what hernias are and how to prevent them.

“Hernias occur when there is stress placed upon weakened abdominal muscles and an internal organ like the intestines protrudes through that weakened area. Hernias usually appear as a bulge in the groin or near the navel and can cause a dull, aching pain or a burning sensation.”

“Risk factors include obesity, repeated strains from physical exertion and pregnancy.”

To prevent hernias:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Use proper technique when lifting heavy items
  • Avoid smoking
  • Exercise to strengthen your core abdominal muscles.

“If you think you have a hernia, ask your primary care doctor for help.”

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