Home > Causes of Back Pain > Back Pain and Hernia

Back Pain and Hernia

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 10 Dec 2017 |
Hernia Spontaneous Congenital Traumatic

A hernia happens when part of the body is pushed through a hole (usually a weakened area of muscle) in another part of the body. Hernias can be spontaneous (they just happen), congenital (something that people are born with), or traumatic (the result of an accident).

There are a number of different types of hernia:

  • inguinal hernia
  • lumbar hernia
  • hiatal hernia
  • femoral hernia
  • umbilical hernia
  • incisional hernia
  • diaphragmatic hernia
The most common type of hernia, and the one that is most likely to cause back pain, is the inguinal hernia.

What Is An Inguinal Hernia?

This happens when part of the small intestine (the lower part of the bowel) bulges though a weak part of the muscles in the groin (the lower part of the abdomen). It is more common in men than in women. The bulge (the herniated part of the intestine) can usually be pushed back through into the body, unless it becomes strangulated.

Back Pain And Inguinal Hernia

The symptoms of an inguinal hernia include pain in the area of the hernia, but can also include pain that radiates round to the back or down the leg, because the inflammation of the hernia can press on the nerves. This is known as ‘referred’ pain. The pain of an inguinal hernia is usually worsened by lifting, straining, coughing, bending or exercise, and usually goes away with rest. Other symptoms of hernia include nausea and a ‘dragging’ feeling.

Treating Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernias can be treated temporarily with a truss, which uses pads to press the hernia back into the abdomen, and this can be used while patients wait for surgery, or if they can’t have an operation because of other conditions. However, surgery is the only way to repair an inguinal hernia permanently.

Traditional surgery for an inguinal hernia involves making a cut over the weakened part of muscle, putting a piece of mesh in place, and then sewing up the incision, which will hold the mesh in place. The mesh triggers tissue growth, which completes the repair. The operation often uses a local anaesthetic. As well as improving recovery time and allowing patients to go home the same day, using a local anaesthetic means that and surgeons can check whether the repair is secure by asking patients to cough or strain.

Surgeons can also repair inguinal hernias using keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery, also under a local anaesthetic. This also uses a piece of mesh, but because the cut is smaller, recovery is faster and there is less pain.

After the operation, once the cut is healed, strengthening abdominal muscles and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of hernias re-occurring – and these will both help avoid general back pain as well.

Lumbar Hernia

A lumbar hernia is a very rare form of hernia, where a weakening in the back muscles allows internal organs, such as the colon, to protrude through a gap. This can cause back pain. There have only been around 300 cases of lumbar hernia reported in medical journals in the past 300 years. Lumbar hernias can be difficult to diagnose, but are repaired in the same way as inguinal hernias.

Lumbar hernias are not the same as lumbar disc hernias, which are also known as slipped discs.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Janet - Your Question:
I've had hernia surgery 4th of December 2017, they called it a Ventral hernia. Well I've been dealing wit horrible lower back pain that has me bent over in pain. The hernia was on my left abdomen area. Is this normal to have this much pain in my lower back and left side?

Our Response:
We can't answer individual medical questions unfortunately. It would be better to seek advice from your GP or consultant that instigated the surgery.
BackPainExpert - 11-Dec-17 @ 2:10 PM
I'vehad hernia surgery 4th of December 2017, they called it a Ventral hernia. Well I've been dealing wit horrible lower back pain that has me bent over in pain. The hernia was on my left abdomen area. Is this normal to have this much pain in my lower back and left side?
Janet - 10-Dec-17 @ 6:14 PM
Dear Dr. I am running 61 and sitting nearly 6 to 8 hrs in front of computer or reading with break at every one hour for few minutes. This is my routine from Mon to Friday whereas on sat & sun I am mostly on move/rest and sitting less. Since last few weeks I get pain on tail of spinal cord (between buttocks just above anus) that to when I get stand up from chair and after that no pain. I can palpate when I contract the muscles nearby that location. I would like to know the reason and whether treatment is required or not. Pl.note that I am having history of anul fissure but subsided (No medication, No pain, no bleeding nut some time temporary swelling if I happen to eat sweet/hot food or having constipation.)
RMP - 26-May-17 @ 6:50 AM
Good post! Have everything regarding hernia and its different types. Reading this post would benefit identifying the disease if existing and treating at the earliest. Thanks. Keep posting about similar diseases.
http://www.shouldice - 18-Sep-12 @ 8:05 AM
I am having this back pain for over 10years, I have had a Hernia surgery about 6years ago but the pains persists. the Hernia is showing up again.am having a lower back pain that is very painful. Please what do I do?
oge - 4-Apr-11 @ 2:35 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • BackPainExpert
    Re: Back Pain and Hernia
    Janet - Your Question:I've had hernia surgery 4th of December 2017, they called it a Ventral hernia. Well I've been dealing wit horrible…
    11 December 2017
  • Janet
    Re: Back Pain and Hernia
    I've had hernia surgery 4th of December 2017, they called it a Ventral hernia. Well I've been dealing wit horrible lower back pain that has…
    10 December 2017
  • Harry
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    Dear can anybody tell me what happens with me When i bend forward to push flush of washroom then i experience some force pull me forward and after…
    6 December 2017
  • motorman
    Re: Tilted Pelvis
    I have now been suffering realy bad diabolical pain in my right hip & down my leg & i have used just about all the gels that are available, plus lots…
    13 November 2017
  • Grumpygran
    Re: Cauda Equina Syndrome
    I have small herniatios of l4 l5 with probable compression of Cauda Equina . This was an unexpected finding as the MRI was done because of…
    29 September 2017
  • Jsisjd
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    I had suicidal back pain and leg pain for 7-8 months after a spinal tap until the pain slowly subsided. Today 1 year later, i…
    1 September 2017
    Re: Who is at Risk of Developmental Back Pain?
    Just want to let you all know that I find the medical info on ligaments and back problems to be very informative…
    12 August 2017
  • Kat
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    My ll yr old girl has bulging disk tear always in pain took her a and e. She now seeing back surgeon in a week not half a year how can this pain…
    25 June 2017
  • eadndel drinkh20
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    Arch your back by pushing off floor with arms straight with hips and legs flat on floor repeat 6 times 3 to 4 time a day. This arch will hurt but…
    8 June 2017
  • Ahmed
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    I also have same problem plz suggest me to which doctor I should refer neurologist or orthopedic I m unable to stand plz suggest me
    6 June 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the BackPainExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.