Direct and Indirect Hernias Explained

July 22, 2019

Hernias are quite common and studies show that 5% of the US population has experienced at least one. The most common type is an inguinal hernia, which involves the abdominal muscles. In this case tissue or organs push through a weak spot or hole in the muscular wall. There are two types including direct vs indirect hernia. The type that you might experience is greatly based on factors like age and gender. Both of these hernias sometimes cause a bulge on one of the groin’s sides if it’s big enough. This can cause pain and discomfort due to the tissue pushing into the stomach’s wall. It’s critical to know the symptoms of an inguinal hernia.

Is there a big difference between direct and indirect hernias? One of the main factors is age. A direct hernia usually shows up later in life while an indirect hernia typically first happens among infants. Another big difference is about what causes these hernias. Indirect hernias are related to weak stomach walls, and an indirect hernia is related to something that happens in the womb. Both of these conditions will cause symptoms that can be treated effectively. It all starts with knowing the main similarities and differences between the two conditions.


What’s an Inguinal Hernia?

This is an important question since both direct and indirect hernias are of this type. In this condition part of a person’s tissue or organ goes through the abdominal muscle. The tissues bulge from the lower ab wall to the groin area known as the “inguinal.” This explains the hernia’s name.

Hernias, in general, happen in the abdominal or groin area. A hernia’s type is based on factors like where it takes place and the symptoms it causes. For example, an incarcerated hernia results in the tissue being “jailed” since it’s unable to move.

In this case, the inguinal hernia happens when stomach fat or the intestines bulge into the groin region. The two main types of hernia are direct and indirect hernias. One usually happens among adult males and the other usually happens in infants.

An inguinal hernia can take place on either side of the abdomen. They usually happen later in life since that’s when the abdominal wall starts to weaken due to age.

This type of hernia is the most common type. In fact, around one-quarter of males and 2% of females will experience an inguinal hernia during their lifetimes.

The good news is these hernias aren’t dangerous in most cases. However, they can cause pain and especially when doing certain actions like hard coughing/sneezing, bending, or lifting heavy objects. Even standing up can cause symptoms.

However, the situation can sometimes change. If this hernia worsens it can become an incarcerated hernia. This happens when the tissue gets trapped in the groin and can’t return to the abdomen.

It’s important to treat this condition immediately because the condition can actually become worse and become a “strangulated hernia.” This happens when the incarcerated hernia isn’t treated. The tissues can get “strangulated” because they have no blood supply. This condition needs medical attention ASAP.


What is The Difference Between Direct and Indirect Hernias?

A Direct Hernia usually happens when a weak abdominal muscle allows a section of the intestine to push through the person’s abdominal wall, while Indirect Hernia is a result when a region of the abdominal muscle tissue doesn’t close up when a baby is in his/her mother’s womb.


Direct vs Indirect Hernia

These are the two main types of inguinal hernias. Both direct and indirect hernias are inguinal hernias but there are some key differences based mostly on a person’s age and gender.

Direct Hernia

This typically happens when a weak abdominal muscle allows a section of the intestine to push through the person’s abdominal wall. There are various factors that can cause these problems including age and everyday activities.

One misconception that people have is hernias are caused directly by lifting heavy. In fact, it’s technically the weakened ab muscles that are the main problem. The situation worsens if someone uses bad lifting techniques to pick up a heavy object.

A direct hernia usually happens when someone is an adult. It typically happens later during life unless it results from an injury they experience some time during life.

A male might feel pain in the scrotum. This happens when the intestine presses down into the region.

Indirect hernia

This doesn’t result from abdominal muscles that are weakened or damaged. It instead results when a region of the abdominal muscle tissue doesn’t close up when a baby is in his/her mother’s womb.

The area is known as the “inguinal ring.” Among boys the ring lets the testicles fall into the scrotum. Usually, it then closes. However, when it stays open an area of the intestine then pushes through it as well.

This type of hernia typically happens when a person is an infant. The reason it’s frequently a “congenital” condition. Direct hernias might be the easiest to notice when a baby is crying.

There are various risk factors that can boost the chance someone will experience one of these types of hernias. Here are some of the main ones:

      • Family history of hernias
      • Being male (9x more likely for indirect hernias)
      • Condition that causes heavy coughing
      • Collagen vascular disease
      • Low body mass index (BMI)
      • Smoking


Natural Remedies for Hernias

There are several DIY remedies you can use for hernias. Keep in mind sometimes stronger meds or surgery will be required to fix the problem. You should also consult your doctor before using any of these remedies for hernias. Here are some popular options:

Ginger Root

This is a great option for dealing with pain and inflammation. Ginger juice is a good option or you can even eat raw ginger. This will help to reduce pain and make your stomach healthier.

Aloe Vera Juice

This product is used for a wide range of products for hair, skin, and diet. You can drink some juice every morning. You can also drink this healthy stuff before each meal so you reduce your chance of getting a hernia.

Lose weight

One of the biggest risk factors of hernias is obesity. If you have one it can also cause healing to take more time.

Black Pepper

You can add extra pepper to your food to help soothe your stomach and lower inflammation. You can also help heal body parts that were injured when the organ pushed through the stomach wall.

Ice pack

This is an oldie but goodie. It helps to reduce redness, inflammation, and pain in the abs or groin. Putting the ice pack on the hernia can help to lower inflammation while helping with pain and bloating.

Reduce exercising

Yes, too much exercise is a thing. One of the main causes of hernias is lifting weights that are too heavy. While recovering from a hernia trying to scale back your workouts.

Castor seed oil

This has been used to improve stomach health for eons. It helps to coat the stomach. This helps to prevent problems like indigestion and inflammation. You just make a pack with castor seed oil. Then place it atop the stomach to treat symptoms for direct vs indirect hernia.