What are the different HERNIAs? Definition, signs and treatments in 10 minutes

You can find in this Youtube video and in this health and wellness blog article : 
- The definition of a hernia

- The different types of hernias: hiatal hernia, umbilical hernia, disc hernia, cervical hernia, inguinal hernia, ...

- The signs of a hernia

- The main hernia treatments

- How to avoid getting a hernia?

- The people most often affected by hernias

To begin with, you should know that a hernia corresponds to the exit of a part of an organ outside its usual location.

It is important to know that our organs are found alone or grouped together in different hollow spaces called cavities. These contain openings to the outside called orifice.

The cavities are the places where one or more organs are located. For example, the cranial cavity contains the brain, the abdominal cavity contains the whole digestive and urinary system, the kidneys, the liver, the intestines, the stomach, the pancreas, ...

I make a small recall, our organs are composed of tissue. When the organ exerts a significant pressure on a part of its tissues, it happens that its tissues can no longer resist the pressure and move out of their cavity through an orifice that exists naturally and that has been released or an orifice that has been created accidentally following an inappropriate action.

There are different types of hernias depending on the tissue involved and the area where it is located: hiatal hernia, umbilical hernia, abdominal hernia also known as inguinal hernia, intervertebral hernia also known as disc hernia and cervical hernia.

The most common hernia is the adnominal hernia, which is when a structure of an organ that is located within the abdominal cavity, comes out of this cavity, to go to the fold of the groin (place between the abdomen and the thigh), this hernia affects mainly men.

The umbilical hernia is more present in women, it can also affect the newborn, it is located at the navel. The umbilical hernia is due to the exit of structures that are located in the abdomen, towards the navel.

The crural or femoral hernia is the exit of a part of the digestive tract from the abdomen to the thigh.

The intervertebral or disc hernia which is located at the level of the vertebrae.

The vertebrae are the bones that overlap to form the spine, which contains the spinal cord and nerves.

The spinal cord is part of the nervous system, it is the command center of the nervous messages which arrive by the various nerves, to transmit them to the brain.

The vertebrae of the spine are separated by discs, and it can happen that one of these discs moves out of its usual place, causing a compression of a nerve or a nerve root (the starting point of several nerves that leave the spinal cord to innervate different structures in the body).

When it affects the lumbar vertebrae (vertebrae in the lower back), pain appears at this level, it is called lumbago.

The pain can also spread to the leg through the sciatic nerve.

When the herniated disc appears in the neck vertebrae, it is called cervical hernia.

It also happens that pain appears at the level of the neck, the back and the arm, it is then cervico-brachial neuralgia.
The hiatal hernia, affects 20 to 60% of the French population, it is a portion of the stomach that passes through the esophagus. The hiatal hernia causes burning in the esophagus, regurgitation or acid reflux, the pain is usually located in the upper abdomen.

The symptoms of herniated discs are pain, tingling, numbness in the arms and legs, inflammation may also occur in case of disc damage.

To limit this type of herniation, it is recommended to avoid carrying heavy loads, to strengthen the back muscles, to drink water regularly, to avoid staying in the same position for too long, to take care of one's posture, to walk quickly, to avoid high heels which favour the arching of the back. It is advisable to keep your back straight, to do physiotherapy, relaxation and yoga sessions to relieve pain.

Rest is essential as soon as the first pains appear.

In the case of abdominal or crural hernia, the doctor observes an abnormal mass in the area where the hernia is located, which is usually painless.

As we age, the organs lose their tone, which favors hernias, more than 70% of those affected are over 70 years old.

Abdominal hernia is caused by an increase in pressure in the abdomen. It is caused by lifting weights, heavy objects, but also by obesity, trauma (blow) or a birth defect.

The herniated disc is caused by poor posture (bent back), inappropriate movement, carrying heavy loads, lack of sport, insufficient musculature in the muscles of the lower back.

The herniated disc often affects smokers, pregnant women, full-time drivers who always stay in the same position, athletes who put a lot of pressure on their disc.

The diagnosis of the hernia is made by the general practitioner who observes the abnormal mass. The diagnosis can be confirmed by an ultrasound for digestive hernias and an MRI for disc hernias.

X-rays and CT scans are not systematic, because the images do not necessarily correlate with the patient's feelings (impressive image, but no pain and vice versa).

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that you should not lie down for more than 2 to 3 days in case of a herniated disc, because it is imperative to keep the muscles moving so that they can strengthen themselves to support the vertebrae.

The general practitioner may recommend consultation with a specialist such as a gastroenterologist or an orthopedist depending on the type of herniation.

The treatment consists of calming the pain with painkillers, it is also advised to lose weight in case of overweight or obesity, taking antacids helps to relieve heartburn, infiltrations can also be suggested to reduce the pain of the herniated disc or cervical.

Surgical intervention allows the organ to be placed back in its normal location and to tighten the orifice through which it exited to avoid recurrence.

In the case of a herniated disc or cervical disc, healing is usually spontaneous within a few weeks. It is also possible to free the nerve root with rehabilitation.

Dr Noura Marrai (Doctor of Pharmacy, YouTuber Health, creator of the health well-being Pharmaquiz application),

Pharmaquiz YouTube channel:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3CzlCm-0Yh7-lYM6K2SfVg?sub_confirmation=1

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