What causes hernias?
Is it heavy lifting, coughing, or straining to go to the toilet ? Do hernias run in families ?
No-one really knows the true answer to this question – read more
I have pain and discomfort in the groin – but I don’t see or feel a swelling.
You may have what is called a sports herniaor some form of groin strain. Diagnosing this requires seeing an experienced specialist who can examine you and then organise the appropriate tests if necessary.
Three other ‘hernias’
One ‘hernia’ that is not really a hernia :-
Two confusing ‘hernias’ that are not abdominal wall hernias :-
1. Confusingly, (particularly in continental Europe) the word hernia is used to describe a slipped disc in the back. That’s because the word hernia really means something moving out of the space where it is supposed to be, into another area or space. So in the back, the inside of one of the discs that lie in between the individual vertebrae (bones of the spine) slips (or ‘herniates’) through its covering, and presses on a nerve. NOTHING at all to do with the hernias we are talking about.
2. A hiatus* hernia is where the stomach moves upwards, out of the abdomen, through a normal hole in your diaphragm into the chest cavity. The normal hole is where the oesophagus (gullet) passes from your mouth into your stomach.