should you put hot or cold compresses on a possible hernia?

Not Medical Advice: You can use ice or a cold compress to reduce the swelling of the hernia.

Hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia.

The most common types of hernia are:

Inguinal (inner gr0in)

Incisional (resulting from an incision)

Femoral (outer gr0in)

Umbilical (belly button)

Hiatal (upper stomach)

Ultimately, all hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and an opening or weakness of muscle or fascia; the pressure pushes an organ or tissue through the opening or weak spot. Sometimes the muscle weakness is present at birth; more often, it occurs later in life.

Anything that causes an increase in pressure in the abdomen can cause a hernia, including:

Lifting heavy objects without stabilizing the abdominal muscles

Diarrhea or constipation

Persistent coughing or sneezing

In addition, obesity, poor nutrition, and smoking, can all weaken muscles and make hernias more likely.

Learn about Hernia Tests and Treatments at WebMD.

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