Can hernias heal without surgery?

Hernia Discussion Forums Hernia Discussion Can hernias heal without surgery?

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    • #11404
      John Fortem
      Member

      If you don’t believe that hernias can heal without surgery, then I am a living proof that they can and do. I have had a right-sided inguinal hernia for about 8 years now. I still do! But a few years after the initial hernia on my right side, I started having a left-sided hernia, where the bulge would appear on the left side and disappear on the right side. This has happened a couple of times, each time it would stay on the left side for a few days, and then return to my right side and disappear on the left side. I never had it on both sides at the same time. If you read on about hernias you will find that this is normal, it can and it does wander like that from one side to the other. A couple of months later, it disappeared on the left side and moved back to my right side and has stayed on the right side for at least the last 5 years.

      So I still have my hernia. But it no longer presents itself on the left side. Why do you suppose that is?

      What you need to know is that my hernia is small or medium-sized. The size can vary actually. Because my hernia is reducible. I go to bed at night with a hernia and I wake up in the morning without a hernia. That has been my lift for the past 8 years. I never push on it, it gradually goes back in all on its own when I lay down on my back. I usually fall asleep before it does that, so I have no idea how long that takes, but I would guess it takes at least an hour or so. As I go on with my day, take my morning coffee and dress up, it usually slides back out. Also note that my hernia is asymptomatic, meaning I have no pain in my groin or tangling sensations. But what I have learned is that a hernia can disrupt normal intestine function.

      As of late, I have had periods of 1 to 2 days where my hernia would not poke out when I get up in the morning. Currently I have beaten my own record and I am into my day 3 without the hernia. It will poke out eventually, as it always does, I’m sure of it. It just plays tricks on me. But these experiences have made me question everything I thought I knew about hernias.

      What are your thoughts on hernias that heal on their own? Are there any records of people whose hernias have healed on their own? If there are, they are difficult to find, or these people are simply staying quite about it and go on with their lives.

    • #16574
      Chaunce1234
      Member

      I don’t think it’s possible to ‘heal’ a hernia without surgery, simply because it’s a hole, and, unless the herniated tissue is not going through that hole for an extended amount of time, I don’t see how it could heal because anything going into the hole would prevent the tissue on the sides of the hole from touching to eventually heal and re-join. As a laymen it seems like herniated tissue basically prevents a normal healing mechanism because it’s keeping the hole open. But I’m not a doctor so what do I know, this is an idea that may have no basis in medical reality or anatomy.

      Ultimately if a hernia is not bothering you, then “watchful waiting” seems like a very reasonable option. There are many people that have hernias and aren’t even aware of it, and many who are aware but never fix them. And of course there are countless hernia repair surgeries as well, with various outcomes.

      Anyway, it’s an interesting topic and worth discussing, particularly if there’s any evidence to demonstrate efficacy or an alternative approach. Obviously nobody wants to have a surgery, so if it could be avoided that’d be great.

    • #16600
      John Fortem
      Member

      As I said, it was just playing tricks on me. By the end of the day it eventually started pressing on my abdominal wall and some time later it was out. But it’s interesting development still. I have not had these episodes come and go so frequently. Going on 3 days straight without a hernia was a great relieve. But when it eventually starts poking out it is very uncomfortable. I would much rather have it get out to its usual resting place when I get up in the morning. As I said, my hernia is asymptomatic. Having it stay in and then start pressing to come out slowly is much worse. I don’t know what has changed, but it’s a new development. I did lose a bit of weight over the past month.

      I agree, it’s practically impossible for the hole to heal up on its own. Maybe, just maybe if the hole is very small. But that means you would have to catch it early on. Strengthening your core is supposed to promote healing. That’s something I have read at least.

    • #16614
      Chaunce1234
      Member

      A quick update on this:

      I stumbled upon a website on another forum and it appears to chronicle a man who is trying to manage his inguinal hernia through exercises and other behavioral changes. I don’t know the efficacy of it, but I thought it was worth sharing given the topic:

      https://mynaturalherniacure.com/hernia-exercises/

      He also has a YouTube channel where he discusses specific exercises that seem to be helpful for him, along with other activities.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRVYHl_eRsk&feature=youtu.be&a=

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy6Xz3UTmMLAPr8BP1p6k7w/videos

      Does it work? Who knows? But as an anecdote he claims he has been able to reduce his bulge from “two golf balls” to non-existent. Interesting certainly. Perhaps there is something to the exercises, yoga, etc?

    • #18282
      GeorgeHirst
      Member

      Hey guys, sorry for the late post, but I just found this and thought I’d respond. This is George, the guy who writes the mynaturalherniacure blog that you linked above, where I chronicle my attempt to heal my hernia naturally without surgery. I can tell you that it is absolutely possible to get the lump to go away because I have done it. If the hernia is truly “healed” I don’t know, but it is no longer an issue for me like it was before, which is all I care about. There is a lot of work that went into it, so I don’t believe that I would have been able to get the lump to go away on it’s own without doing anything. With that being said, I have talked to a few different people over the years that were able to do it that way.

      I believe it has a lot to do with pelvic posture, weakness is the muscles surrounding the inguinal canal (especially the transversus abdominis), poor hip mobility which causes tension, tension from stress, and a diet that causes inflammation in the intestines, or causes gas.

      It seemed like the most important thing for me was to make sure that the hernia was being held in at all times and to never let it poke out, while at the same time working to fix the previously mentioned issues, especially strengthening the musculature.

      Ive learned this through trial and error, and through talking to thousands of people with inguinal hernias over the years to find these common problems. I’ve worked to correct these problem areas on myself, and was able to get the lump to go away. I still get a little bit of a weird feeling in the area every once in a while when I’m in a forward sitting position, so I feel like I still have little ways to go, but I can get through my days without thinking about the hernia anymore.

    • #18299
      pinto
      Member

      My understanding is that across the medical profession there is absolute certainty that an IH cannot heal naturally. And in fact, the gentleman behind
      https://mynaturalherniacure.com/hernia-exercises/
      sells his own truss belt. Surely belief in natural cure will forestall surgery, thereby increasing the potential for truss sales. Seems like nothing more than snake oil selling.

    • #18300
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      [USER=”2804″]pinto[/USER] Absolutely it’’s possible to reduce the clinical symptoms from a hernia by changing lifestyle and improving core muscle strength. We’ve reviewed this topic here on this Forum. I recommend it to my patients all the time.

      [USER=”2813″]GeorgeHirst[/USER] has been living this reality for years. He found a flaw with currently available trusses and only recently took it upon himself to redesign them to meet his needs.

      I wouldn’t knock the benefits of core fitness in improving the symptoms of inguinal hernias. We know that asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic hernias can be safely monitored, aka watchful waiting.

    • #18301
      pinto
      Member

      Please correct me if I am wrong but “reduct[ion of] the clinical symptoms” does not mean cure. A person is still left with a hernia. If a person does not leave his bed, then he really does not have symptoms (assuming a reducible hernia) . I have yet to find a doctor anywhere who says that hernia can be naturally cured.

      I agree however symptoms possibly can be reduced, such that a person might find less debilitation. For example, properly wearing trusses can help when previously misapplied. Exercise is another matter. I have yet to find any published data showing exercise led to appreciable reduction of an IH.

      I myself would like to do such exercise but yet to find well illustrated exercises borne from evidence-based data. My local IH surgeon told me to cut out the physical training (very moderate and excludes the abdomen) I do. Perhaps the gentlemen’s website to which you refer has exercises well documented for improving IH conditions, but at the website I find no references to any clinical studies in support.

    • #18302
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      You will not see such data unless a government entity (US or other) chooses to sponsor it—and there is no exercise regimen that has been validated yet to be used for such a study.

      We we do have good population data that shows those who exercise regularly are significantly protected from having inguinal hernias, controlling for BMI. We also know that most exercise does not increase abdominal pressure—that data is there. We also believe that hernias get clinically worse in part from increases in abdominal pressure, though there is no strong data to prove that.

      You can extrapolate from these that exercising can reduce hernia as a symptom. Clinically, if you have no inguinal hernia symptoms and your bulge is reduced or gone, then there is little to no indication for repair. You seem to have an issue with the word cure. Maybe remission is a better term?

      There are plenty of people with hernias who has no idea they have a hernia—tney would be found on imaging. As surgeons, we don’t offer treatment to them, in general.

    • #18304
      pinto
      Member

      I agree especially with your point about unrecognized herniae–they are so unobtrusive that for all practical purposes they can go without surgical treatment. The rest, I refer you to the title of the topic–Can hernias heal without surgery? According to the OED
      heal means “to become healthy again.”

      My understanding is that by definition, hernia is literally a hole in the abdominal wall through which bodily matter protrude. Granted I am a simple layperson but the many many doctors I have read all say that hole–that hernia–cannot heal naturally. It can only do so by surgery. Surely after surgery or as a preventative, strengthening the core seems wise but for the watchful waiting patient, highly risky.

      And the point of the discussion concerns the website named “My Natural Cure.” The name speaks for itself–it challenges the entire medical profession by claiming a non-surgery cure. Again, I am confident that you will find no legitimate medical doctor who would say that the hernia hole can be closed by physical exercise.
      Thank you.

    • #18306
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      I don’t agree that for the watchful waiting patient that can be risky. Quite the opposite. That is exactly what I would recommend for the watchful waiting patient.

      I am a surgeon who believes that the hernia hole can decrease in size with certain changes in activities, lifestyle. We have seen the same on followup imaging. Remember that in the case of indirect inguinal hernias, the hole is always there for the round ligament (females) or spermatic coed (makes). It’s enlargement of the hole that makes a hernia a clinical diagnosis.

    • #18307
      bekahjan
      Member

      [USER=”935″]drtowfigh[/USER] You mentioned that above ” in the case of indirect inguinal hernias, the hole is always there for the round ligament (females)”. I had a transvaginal ultrasound to rule out cysts from some pain I was having. The technician was pretty rough. Afterwards, The pain on my right side has gotten a lot worse along my inguinal ligament.

      Is it possible that if I had weak muscles before that the ultrasound could have caused a hernia or the round ligament to get bigger? Is the Round ligament near my ovaries or uterus?

      I’m interested in this thread, because i’m hopeful that if I do have a hernia, strengthening my muscles will help with my pain and maybe reverse any damage. I’m wondering if the ultrasound possibly weakened my already weak muscles which hopefully can be reversed by strengthening them. Could that be a possibility?

      My dr doesnt believe in hidden hernias in women, so I am hoping to get a second opinion very soon. Until then, i’m thinking of starting physical therapy.

    • #18308
      pinto
      Member

      I stand corrected, Dr. T. Thank you. I would really like to hear more about it. I never seen anywhere a statement that the hole can be reduced by lifestyle changes. And presumably if so, then theoretically cure could be reached. With all due respect, isn’t there some intellectual tension among surgeons about these points of actually lessening the severity of an IH through exercises and lifestyle?

    • #18309
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      Yes. There is no consensus among surgoens about non-surgical means to reduce hernia symptoms.

    • #18310
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      [USER=”2831″]bekahjan[/USER] the ultrasound can not injure or damage or worsen anything

    • #18312
      UhOh!
      Member
      quote drtowfigh:

      I don’t agree that for the watchful waiting patient that can be risky. Quite the opposite. That is exactly what I would recommend for the watchful waiting patient.

      I am a surgeon who believes that the hernia hole can decrease in size with certain changes in activities, lifestyle. We have seen the same on followup imaging. Remember that in the case of indirect inguinal hernias, the hole is always there for the round ligament (females) or spermatic coed (makes). It’s enlargement of the hole that makes a hernia a clinical diagnosis.

      Do you see reductions in hole size for both direct and indirect, or only indirect?

    • #18955
      GeorgeHirst
      Member

      [USER=”935″]drtowfigh[/USER][USER=”2804″]pinto[/USER] Thank you for being the only surgeon on planet earth that I have seen willing to stand up and say that they have seen the benefits of exercise to help control an inguinal hernia. So many people say that it is impossible, while they sit and do nothing, looking for proof rather than giving it a try for themselves so they can be their own judge. But I guess if the majority of surgeons are telling their patients to limit their activity, especially abdominal exercises, I can see why.

      Also, thanks for backing me up to being called a snake oil salesman. I have helped thousands of active people get on with their lives through writing my blog and designing the comfort-truss, and I pride myself on that fact. So when I see someone say that it’s very frustrating. I don’t have a blog to sell hernia belts, I sell hernia belts to hopefully help the people who read my blog and watch my videos in the same way that the truss has helped me. Am I an entrepreneur? Yes, I have been my whole life, but I have much better things to do with my time than to talk about hernias if I wasn’t truly in this to help people. I sold a very successful company that I owned for over 10 years because it wasn’t fulfilling to me. I would rather help people, and make A LOT less money, than to make a bunch of money doing something that means nothing to me. Like I say anytime I mention the comfort-truss in my videos: You don’t have to buy the belt I designed. It works for me, but everyone has to find one that works for them and fits their lifestyle. I couldn’t find one that fit my lifestyle, so I had to make it for myself, and now I get to help people by offering it to them.

    • #18962
      catbird
      Member

      Are core strengthening exercises for hernia worth doing without also wearing a truss throughout the day?

    • #18967
      drtowfigh
      Keymaster

      Yes.
      There is a great pinned story on the home page about core exercises.

      • #21859
        B. Bell
        Participant

        I don’t see any pinned story on the home page regarding this.
        Could you please repost?
        Thanks

    • #19060
      pinto
      Member

      [USER=”2813″]GeorgeHirst[/USER], please provide us with the scientific evidence (actual empirical studies) not solely anecdotal evidence for the claim physical exercise reduces the physical gap from which IHs emerge. Some pre-surgery patients have reported that their physical exercising resulted in enlargement of their IHs. Now I realize their self-reporting are likely unscientific, but their claims are potentially valid. Also the medical community widely reports that IHs cannot heal naturally, only by surgery. Given the risk of enlargement making the IH worse, it would be foolish to do physical exercise aimed at reducing the IH physical gap–unless of course your claim has wide acceptance medically. Aside from empirical research, at least can you name any licensed medical hospitals that offer physical exercise found to reduce IH gaps?

    • #19066
      Jnomesh
      Participant

      It also may depend on whether the hernia is a direct hernia or a indirect hernia since a direct hernia is due to a actual defect in the muscle itself.
      i first had a indirect hernia in my right side which was bothersome but no that bad.
      A year later I had what turned out to be two hernias on my left side indirect and direct and both went undiagnosed for 18 months.
      before the hernias were finally diagnosed I was sent to PT 2 separate times for a month each and they had me do all sorts of stir including crunches and other at work and it absolutely aggregated my left side.
      I know there are probably many variable but I really feel that the direct hernia was a different animal. It really bothered me anytime I did any an work or stomach straining and really bothered me when sitting as well-it was a nightmare

    • #19067
      pinto
      Member

      Jnomesh, sorry to hear about your ordeal. One is enough so I can´t imagine what you must have gone through. I salute you. BTW, didn´t a fine doc in this forum say how direct IHs are more advantageous than indirect ones surgically? If I got that right, then the more complexity might mean you were very lucky about your indirect one not becoming worse. Anyway among the many pronouncements by medical people that IHs cannot be healed naturally, I have never seen any of them limit the restriction to only the direct. Have you?

    • #19068
      Jnomesh
      Participant

      Thanks. Definitely a ordeal with mesh removal on top of the two hernia surgeries on each side.
      i think it is the other way around indirect hernias are easier to treat-Ive heard the analogy made the a indirect hernia so analogous to a towel preventing a door from closing. Remove the towel and the door closes. This is over simplistic but a indirect hernia is bc of a defect from birth as the small hole that allows ones testicles to drop as a infant stays open to some degree.
      direct hernia a hole is manufactured within the muscle where no hole was previously.
      ive also heard from most mesh proponents that a direct hernia almost always needs mesh where as a indirect hernia can be done non mesh (of course in reality mesh is used for everything . I’m sure the few non mesh experts out there would say have successs treating both types of repairs without mean.
      but you are right a hernia can never be cured without surgery. I think what the author is saying is that they can be managed with some exercises and a support system (truss)
      notice he seems to equate the hernia being “fixed “ with it not popping out anymore. Whether a hernia protrudes or not doesn’t really have anything to do whether a hernia is present or not .
      ot just means it’s not popping out or protruding enough to be seen. The most important fact is that the hole itself in which the hernia goes through cannot be fixed without surgery.

    • #19072
      pinto
      Member

      You make a lot of sense. The essential point I want to make is that the medical community overwhelming says that IHs cannot be healed other than by surgery. And further some patients pre-surgery who have tried these hernia cure exercises have reported their herniae got worse. So there is big risk in doing physical exercise programs not medically approved (precisely because the reports of exercise failure could be accurate.) If I am mistaken, then I will be happy to learn of the rigorous research data that support these programs or claims. Otherwise, caution should be taken.

      The indirect/direct distinction, so far, is most confusing in my study of IH. I might be wrong but my understanding is that apart from the congenital type, the other type can be either indirect or direct, the main difference being that the direct extends down to the scrotum. Any help in puzzling it out will be appreciated.

    • #19077
      Jnomesh
      Participant

      Absolutely agree that inguinal hernias or any hernia for that matter can’t be foxed without surgery
      difference between indirect and direct hernia is there location and defect. Indirect is associated with where the hole is for the testicles in males to come down and direct is a defect in the muscle where there is no structural hole to start off with.
      indirect hernia goes directly into the inguinal canal and the direct hernia goes through the muscle and enters inguinal canal at a different point ( not at the opening where a indirect one happens.) oversimplifying it but that’s the jist of it as I understand it

    • #19078
      pinto
      Member

      Thank you. I had it backwards: Here´s an interesting quote:
      “Despite statements to the contrary in several textbooks, it is not possible to distinguish a direct from an indirect inguinal hernia by clinical examination, unless the hernia extends to the scrotum (when it must be indirect).” Handbook of Clinical Skills.

      I assume that an indirect does not automatically mean it reaches the scrotum but when it does, it must complicate surgery.

      Another point of my confusion is that I thought two people can have the same kind of hernia but sourced by congenital cause or weakness later developed in life. In other words, one could get an indirect IH apart from congenital reason. But you seem to say indirect is only traceable to congenital cause. Could you confirm what would be most accurate? Many thanks.

    • #19079
      roger555
      Member

      I had three hernias at the same time: double inguinal and another one about two inches below my navel on the right side for about a year. I had just pain, no bulges and they were confirmed by my family doctor and surgeon with a manual cough test and an ultrasound. They went away completely after I changed my sleeping position so my lower abdomen would not have any tension. All three hernias had a 50% reduction in pain the day after I changed my sleeping position.

      My two inguinal hernias went away completely by the third day and my other hernia slowly went away in about two months. I have been hernia free for about fifteen years since then. Just find a sleeping position that doesn’t cause any tension on your abdomen and that will help more than doing strengthening exercises in my opinion. Since everybody is different you might not get the same results that I got. Also, I had no bulges but the pain was real. But I think relieving the tension on you abdomen should help everybody with a hernia to some extent.

    • #19080
      pinto
      Member

      roger555, quite a story. I´m sure you couldn´t be happier. Probably everything was as you say, but let me comment nevertheless. Misdiagnosis can happen. Once, a doc told me I likely had serious kidney disease but later had to retract it because the lab tech´s description of my urine sample was misleading. Misdiagnosis happened at other times too. Medical machines also can err but docs take them at face value. Just within this year, I was misinformed about having high cholestoral and high BP when in fact a different lab and different clinic gave me normal readings. The former doc wanted to give me some serious drug to alter my supposed ill health. I couldn´t accept it because I am extremely fit and questioned the doc about the reliability of her tests. As I said another clinic´s tests showed the opposite, and I continue to have normal readings at different locations.

      Your case is interesting because it being asymptomatic must mean it is harder to diagnose. If yours was correct, then it technically disproves what many docs say about IHs (and I emphasize I am not talking about any other type of hernia) being immune from any treatment other than surgery. Could it be possible that your IHs had a certain missing attribute that would put them in, say, a “pre-hernia” category?

      While sleeping position would be a reasonable factor to consider, at the same time, reclined positions make many herniae practically asymptomatic at least temporarily. Maybe your sleeping position put stress on the groin which countered the positive reclined effect.

      Anyway your case is quite interesting and must be considered for obvious reason. Thank you for sharing.

    • #19081
      PeterC
      Participant

      [USER=”2804″]pinto[/USER]

      As much as I totally understand your arguments and position – just because the medical community seems to agree on something or standardise something doesn’t make it an irrefutable truth. I don’t think it’s fair to automatically point at a misdiagnosis for [USER=”2694″]roger555[/USER] because his real-life experience doesn’t agree with your truth or what you choose to believe in.

      I have an acupuncturist who was clinically partially paralysed after a terrible car accident that put him in a deep coma and western medicine just told him that’s how it would be from then on for the rest of his life – diagnosis and everything. He went to traditional chinese medicine and acupuncture and healed for the most part which led him to pursue a career in traditional chinese medicine. His story isn’t on the news (aside from like 1 newspaper article a couple years back) or in any paper available for online medical enthusiasts to use/refer to.

      I was also seeing an acupuncturist back in Canada who had a hernia 15 years ago and was scheduled for surgery and everything at a regular hospital. The day of they called her to cancel because they had an emergency and she ended up not going. Fast-forward 15 years later it’s not there anymore. She can show me the appointment slip the diagnostic of hernia etc.

      There are countless of stories about people who healed stage 4 cancer with a diagnostic of being terminal and went into complete remission without chemo through holistic healing despite being advised unbelievable amounts of surgery and chemotherapy and told they would never heal because that’s what research has shown. The same way some people have diabetes their whole lives despite having access to modern medicine and then all of a sudden don’t with proper care from a holistic healer. But these results or stories don’t serve the greater agenda of making money and therefore you won’t see them put forward unless you just happen to meet a passionate doctor who cares about what they do. I have a personal friend who had Leukemia and was given 6 months to live and that was that. She turned to holistic healing, cannabis oil, healing through food, etc. She lived another 8 years. While she ultimately passed – she went against every diagnostic and doctors were so quick to just put their truth on her and not even give her a chance. She proved them wrong.

      It doesn’t just happen outside of western/modern medicine. these 2 cases below are in a modern hospital setting but nevertheless cases that went against what was advised/what was standardised.

      http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/arizona-news/doctor-saves-man-from-amputation-with-modern-medical-technology – I guarantee you this man was told he needed to get his toe amputated no matter what based on what “research shows”. Someone else looked at it differently and healed it. It still required surgery and is documented now obviously but I’m just offering perspective.

      This man had a hunting accident just recently and was about to get his leg amputated but met this forward-thinking doctor who managed to regrow 7 cm of bone and avoided him amputation. I guarantee you every doctor before was quick to just tell him “it is what it is and you have to get amputated”. https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-surgeon-helps-regrow-man-s-leg-after-gun-injury-1.4447455?cache=yes%3FclipId%3D89531%3Fot%3DAjaxLayout%3Fot%3DAjaxLayout%3FclipId%3D104056

      All that to say that the human body isn’t one straight-line, one truth. While there may be a “in most cases” consensus – we can’t just discredit and completely discard other accounts – as rare as they may be – of people for who their hernia experience went a different way and potentially healed. Medicine is constantly evolving and often times is late to catch on to what people have been doing to heal outside of research. How many people have healed a condition through dietary change – veganism – etc – and only now do you see hospitals starting to offer vegan options and research plant-based diets as a means of healing.

      I know I touched a whole-bunch of subjects but it’s just some food for thought. 🙂

    • #19084
      pinto
      Member

      PeterC, you greatly misread my post. Please, where do I say what the medical community says is “irrefutable truth”? Nowhere do I say nor imply that. Obviously if you go to a doc for your IH and he/she says, “we´re gonna do some blood letting and fix you right up,” you gonna high tail it out of there. That practice went out ages ago. Your very well-being depends on standard practices followed by a whole society; if not, then our way of life as we know it comes to a standstill. It would be foolish of you to disregard standards simply because you might read some pulp fiction accounts of a miracle drug that “cures” all forms of cancer. Hell, in that case forget the standards and roll the dice.

      Further, I greatly detest your twisting my post to demean roger555´s account. Who “automatically pointed at a misdiagnosis for roger555“? Hello, PeterC. Did you know that yearly there are scores of medical errors made by dedicated doctors throughout the world? Never, never did I say his case was a misdiagnosis. We are all here to discuss matters and he presented his case for our consideration. I sinned in your book by merely suggesting the possibility of misdiagnosis? Well, if you cannot fathom the positive role of critical thought, then I guess you are left with going to your acupuncturist for all your needs. I caution you though that he/she might not be up to standards.

    • #19088
      John Fortem
      Member
      quote drtowfigh:

      I don’t agree that for the watchful waiting patient that can be risky. Quite the opposite. That is exactly what I would recommend for the watchful waiting patient.

      I agree with this statement. I would just add that in case of a patient on watchful waiting I would make sure that the exercise regime is easy and conservative, working only with the patient’s own body weight.

    • #19089
      John Fortem
      Member
      quote GeorgeHirst:

      So many people say that it is impossible, while they sit and do nothing, looking for proof rather than giving it a try for themselves so they can be their own judge.

      Spot on! That’s the problem with people in general, not just with people who have a hernia, they much rather talk the talk than walk the walk. Talking is easy, doing the actual work is hard.

      quote GeorgeHirst:

      Also, thanks for backing me up to being called a snake oil salesman. I have helped thousands of active people get on with their lives through writing my blog and designing the comfort-truss, and I pride myself on that fact. So when I see someone say that it’s very frustrating. I don’t have a blog to sell hernia belts, I sell hernia belts to hopefully help the people who read my blog and watch my videos in the same way that the truss has helped me. Am I an entrepreneur? Yes, I have been my whole life, but I have much better things to do with my time than to talk about hernias if I wasn’t truly in this to help people. I sold a very successful company that I owned for over 10 years because it wasn’t fulfilling to me.

      What you are doing is something very unique. It’s what makes your blog unique and what makes you unique. It is quite possibly the first well documented attempt to heal a hernia naturally. It’s an ongoing experiment, and whatever the outcome may be in the long run you are certainly doing the public a great service, and I thank you for that.

      Do I think you will be able to completely heal your hernia? Judging by my own experience with migrating hernia, I would say it’s plausible. And judging by the anecdotal evidence you present on the website, it seems like you are making progress.

      quote GeorgeHirst:

      I would rather help people, and make A LOT less money, than to make a bunch of money doing something that means nothing to me.

      I feel the same way. I wish more surgeons and medical device/product manufacturers saw things this way. As I wrote in another thread of mine, “there are needs to be filled and things to be improved upon in the operating room that are not necessarily bad or damaging to the patient, and there is money to be made on these products by the manufacturers and by the surgeons who use them. You just need to use common sense, and stop looking at things solely through the dollar glasses. Don’t be greedy, don’t be evil.”

      I made this statement because I have learned that Ethicon makes not only surgical meshes but also surgical glues. I had my hernia surgically repaired by Dr. Koch and he used the surgical glue by Ethicon to seal up the wound. The result is quite impressive! The incision has healed up so nicely, it’s almost invisible. I strongly believe that it is small innovations like this that can have most impact and add up to a bigger whole and benefit the patient the most. Instead of just looking through the dollar glasses and thinking that one size can fit all.

      I think that the tailored approach is what sets Dr. Koch and others like him apart from other hernia surgeons. And sadly I must say, they are a minority in the medical field. A lot of the medical world is about numbers and industrialization, treating everyone equally like on a conveyor belt, without much consideration for the unique needs and anatomical variance in each patient. I get the sense that people are becoming more and more like robots, both the patients who are treated as if they are the same model and surgeons who lack the human touch with the world.

      quote GeorgeHirst:

      Like I say anytime I mention the comfort-truss in my videos: You don’t have to buy the belt I designed. It works for me, but everyone has to find one that works for them and fits their lifestyle. I couldn’t find one that fit my lifestyle, so I had to make it for myself, and now I get to help people by offering it to them.

      I can confirm that. I have seen the videos.

    • #19091
      John Fortem
      Member
      quote pinto:

      [USER=”2813″]GeorgeHirst[/USER], please provide us with the scientific evidence (actual empirical studies) not solely anecdotal evidence for the claim physical exercise reduces the physical gap from which IHs emerge.

      You have the right to be skeptical. But you have to understand that this gentlemen is challenging all that we believe in and are taught to be true. It’s a tall order for him to come up with empirical evidence for his claims. To begin with, he would need years of scientific training and the instruments required to do for example imaging studies. It’s not something a regular Joe can fit in his backyard, nor have the expertise to operate it. What we need here is for the scientific community to take up his claims and design a study that can shed some light on the matter. Such study will cost money, and no one wants to finance it.

      For comparison, his claim is as repelling as the claim that Earth rotates around the Sun. People got hurt just for uttering those words. As Voltaire would put it: it is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.

      I would love to see some scientific study on the matter. But I have yet to source one, and I am a regular visitor to PubMed (for other reasons).

      quote pinto:

      Some pre-surgery patients have reported that their physical exercising resulted in enlargement of their IHs. Now I realize their self-reporting are likely unscientific, but their claims are potentially valid.

      If they are unscientific, what makes their claims valid?

      quote pinto:

      Also the medical community widely reports that IHs cannot heal naturally, only by surgery.

      I have a hard time accepting a world view where the truth is only what I am told by an authority. With that said, I am not saying that a hernia can or cannot be healed naturally. We need to design a study that will try to answer that question rather than speculating about it. There are a lot of things that the medical community doesn’t have an answer to. How does the medical community explain the fact that I no longer have a hernia on my left side?

      quote pinto:

      Given the risk of enlargement making the IH worse, it would be foolish to do physical exercise aimed at reducing the IH physical gap–unless of course your claim has wide acceptance medically.

      I believe I read somewhere that professional athletes who exercise on a regular basis are more likely to develop a hernias than people who don’t exercise at all. If you already have a hernia, and especially if it’s asymptomatic, I would say that it’s safe to do some easy to moderate exercises without the risk of enlarging the hernia.

      In fact, I took up strength training and conditioning about 2 months before my hernia surgery. I saw no worsening of the hernia during this time, but it was not always comfortable to do exercises that involve a lot of lower body motion. Most uncomfortable was running on the treadmill on days when my hernia decided not to come out in the morning. It would literally come out as I was bouncing up and down on the treadmill. It would come out slowly rather than just pop out instantly, but I could feel it and it was no fun at all. Gladly it’s no longer a problem for me. I can even do squats and pull ups and I have yet not teared the repair (a little more than 1 month after surgery). And my repair was done without a mesh, so it is supposedly a weaker repair than the concrete reinforcement bars (plastic mesh) in your groin. I strongly believe that my continued physical exercise has helped me heal after the surgery. Physical exercise can do wonders to the human body, beyond comprehension of modern medicine.

      quote pinto:

      Aside from empirical research, at least can you name any licensed medical hospitals that offer physical exercise found to reduce IH gaps?

      Just because a treatment is offered at a hospital doesn’t mean it’s a good treatment that is backed up by strong scientific evidence. There is more than one hospital in the world claiming to be able to heal any illness or disease simply by offering stem cell therapy. You go figure out if it’s true or false.

    • #19092
      John Fortem
      Member
      quote Jnomesh:

      It also may depend on whether the hernia is a direct hernia or a indirect hernia since a direct hernia is due to a actual defect in the muscle itself.
      i first had a indirect hernia in my right side which was bothersome but no that bad.
      A year later I had what turned out to be two hernias on my left side indirect and direct and both went undiagnosed for 18 months.
      before the hernias were finally diagnosed I was sent to PT 2 separate times for a month each and they had me do all sorts of stir including crunches and other at work and it absolutely aggregated my left side.
      I know there are probably many variable but I really feel that the direct hernia was a different animal. It really bothered me anytime I did any an work or stomach straining and really bothered me when sitting as well-it was a nightmare

      That’s a valid point about direct vs. indirect hernia.

      Crunches are one of those exercises that create most abdominal pressure. I would advise against them for anyone who has a hernia that is not retractable when laying down, or anyone who recently had a hernia surgery. Crunches are difficult enough even for healthy people who don’t have a hernia. For all beginners and people who had hernia surgery I would recommend the reverse crunch rather.

    • #19093
      John Fortem
      Member
      quote Jnomesh:

      Thanks. Definitely a ordeal with mesh removal on top of the two hernia surgeries on each side.
      i think it is the other way around indirect hernias are easier to treat-Ive heard the analogy made the a indirect hernia so analogous to a towel preventing a door from closing. Remove the towel and the door closes. This is over simplistic but a indirect hernia is bc of a defect from birth as the small hole that allows ones testicles to drop as a infant stays open to some degree.
      direct hernia a hole is manufactured within the muscle where no hole was previously.
      ive also heard from most mesh proponents that a direct hernia almost always needs mesh where as a indirect hernia can be done non mesh (of course in reality mesh is used for everything . I’m sure the few non mesh experts out there would say have successs treating both types of repairs without mean.
      but you are right a hernia can never be cured without surgery. I think what the author is saying is that they can be managed with some exercises and a support system (truss)
      notice he seems to equate the hernia being “fixed “ with it not popping out anymore. Whether a hernia protrudes or not doesn’t really have anything to do whether a hernia is present or not .
      ot just means it’s not popping out or protruding enough to be seen. The most important fact is that the hole itself in which the hernia goes through cannot be fixed without surgery.

      I’m not so sure about the towel analogy, but you certainly know your hernias, that’s for sure.

      Yes, indirect hernia is what I had and Dr. Koch told both me and my brother that these are usually present from birth.

      Not really. Technically, you have a hernia if it pokes out. That’s what a “hernia” technically is – a protrusion of intestine through the inner layers of the abdominal wall. So if I lay flat on my back and the hernia retracts then I don’t have a hernia now, do I? Yes, you may still have a “hole” in there. But that’s not what a hernia is. It takes a hole and intestine protrusion to make a “hernia”. If hernias were defined simply as “holes” then all men would technically have hernias, as we all have holes where the testicles dropped down into the scrotum. But in healthy males those holes are not large enough for intestine to protrude through.

      Why my hernia used to stay in for days, I can’t say. Was the hole becoming smaller? I can’t say, because I don’t know. But I could go on up to 5 days without being able to see or to sense a protruding intestine. Believe me, I don’t need to see it to know when I have an intestine that wants to pop out. You forgot about the sense of touch. I could literally feel the intestine pressing and pushing whenever it had been tacked in for a long time and it wanted to pop out. I have 8 years of experience dealing with this. This sensation of pressure was most severe in the early beginnings when that hole was still very small, so the intestine would have a hard time pushing out through the hole.

    • #19094
      John Fortem
      Member
      quote pinto:

      You make a lot of sense. The essential point I want to make is that the medical community overwhelming says that IHs cannot be healed other than by surgery. And further some patients pre-surgery who have tried these hernia cure exercises have reported their herniae got worse. So there is big risk in doing physical exercise programs not medically approved (precisely because the reports of exercise failure could be accurate.) If I am mistaken, then I will be happy to learn of the rigorous research data that support these programs or claims. Otherwise, caution should be taken.

      The indirect/direct distinction, so far, is most confusing in my study of IH. I might be wrong but my understanding is that apart from the congenital type, the other type can be either indirect or direct, the main difference being that the direct extends down to the scrotum. Any help in puzzling it out will be appreciated.

      That’s interesting… you request “rigorous research data” for claims of hernia symptom improvement or cure of hernia through physical exercise. But you don’t put the same requirement on these anecdotal pre-surgery injuries from doing these exercises. Tell me, what rigorous research data do YOU have on patients who got worse by doing physical exercises prior to surgery? And don’t just give me anecdotal viewpoints now.

      I think you have overconfidence in the medical community.

      Direct hernia: intestine protrudes directly through the abdominal wall. Weakness is in the abdominal muscles.
      Indirect hernia: intestine passes through the deep inguinal ring before it protrudes through the abdominal wall. Weakness is primarily in the inguinal canal and I am told that this type of hernia is the most common and is congenital.

    • #19095
      John Fortem
      Member
      quote pinto:

      Thank you. I had it backwards: Here´s an interesting quote:
      “Despite statements to the contrary in several textbooks, it is not possible to distinguish a direct from an indirect inguinal hernia by clinical examination, unless the hernia extends to the scrotum (when it must be indirect).” Handbook of Clinical Skills.

      I assume that an indirect does not automatically mean it reaches the scrotum but when it does, it must complicate surgery.

      Another point of my confusion is that I thought two people can have the same kind of hernia but sourced by congenital cause or weakness later developed in life. In other words, one could get an indirect IH apart from congenital reason. But you seem to say indirect is only traceable to congenital cause. Could you confirm what would be most accurate? Many thanks.

      Correct, indirect does not necessarily mean it reaches the scrotum. And yes, scrotal hernias are more difficult to repair.

      Are indirect hernias always congenital? I don’t know that for sure, but I am told by Dr. Koch that this is the most common type of hernia in males and it is believed to be congenital in nature. Congenital meaning it’s present at birth. Me and my brother both had the indirect type. That should answer your question about the congenital aspect of it.

    • #19099
      pinto
      Member

      Let me iterate: there is no scientific evidence that physical exercise heals an IH; that is, the “hole” or gap–which is what a hernia is–remains open. It is not sealed by exercise. What is scientific evidence? For example, a cogent definition: “Results when a theory or hypothesis is tested objectively by other individuals such as in an experiment or in a controlled environment.”
      http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/scientific-evidence.html

      I have merely asked this Forum, if you´ve got it, then please show us. Anecdotes, though helpful, are not scientific evidence. They may serve as precursors or illustrations but they in themselves are not scientific by an absence of rigor. At the very least, you should be able to provide licensed medical centers that offer pre-surgery IH patients exercise programs that heal–close the IH hernia. So far, no information as such has been forthcoming.

      Finally I never said nor implied that patients who have reported negatively about exercise are scientific. However because only surgery can turn the clock back for herniae, it would be prudent to be cautious about the contrary claims you make.

    • #19105
      idoncov
      Participant

      Webster’s definition of a hernia: [h=2]Definition of hernia[/h] a protrusion of an organ or part (such as the intestine) through connective tissue or through a wall of the cavity (as of the abdomen) in which it is normally enclosed

      How can the sides of a cavity grow back together when there is an organ separating the two?

    • #19109
      kaspa
      Participant

      I’m a late comer on this truly interesting topic.

      Healing a hernia without surgery is quite a philosophical questions these days of mesh-era.

      I think in future, when mesh-era is gone and surgeons invest in research on hernia physiology again, they’ll find subtle details that will allow them to treat an hernia without surgery, perhaps direct hernias first.

      Don’t ask me to substantiate this too much, but I believe hernia sac will be the key. A defect in the wall isn’t enough, that’s why a congenital indirect hernia can show up only decades later. There must be additional factors which are random events, like hernia sac formation.

      If you asked a doctor 50 years ago if it would be possible treating a peptic ulcer without surgery he’d think you were nuts. Yet, today most such ulcers are treated with potent antacids and sometimes antibiotics, too. Thanks to understanding pathophysiology of peptic ulcer.

    • #19120
      roger555
      Member
      quote pinto:

      roger555, quite a story. I´m sure you couldn´t be happier. Probably everything was as you say, but let me comment nevertheless. Misdiagnosis can happen. Once, a doc told me I likely had serious kidney disease but later had to retract it because the lab tech´s description of my urine sample was misleading. Misdiagnosis happened at other times too. Medical machines also can err but docs take them at face value. Just within this year, I was misinformed about having high cholestoral and high BP when in fact a different lab and different clinic gave me normal readings. The former doc wanted to give me some serious drug to alter my supposed ill health. I couldn´t accept it because I am extremely fit and questioned the doc about the reliability of her tests. As I said another clinic´s tests showed the opposite, and I continue to have normal readings at different locations.

      Your case is interesting because it being asymptomatic must mean it is harder to diagnose. If yours was correct, then it technically disproves what many docs say about IHs (and I emphasize I am not talking about any other type of hernia) being immune from any treatment other than surgery. Could it be possible that your IHs had a certain missing attribute that would put them in, say, a “pre-hernia” category?

      While sleeping position would be a reasonable factor to consider, at the same time, reclined positions make many herniae practically asymptomatic at least temporarily. Maybe your sleeping position put stress on the groin which countered the positive reclined effect.

      Anyway your case is quite interesting and must be considered for obvious reason. Thank you for sharing.

      I can understand your point of misdiagnosis which does happen. Here is more information. My family doctor checked my hernia manually and he said he was confident they were hernias but he still send me to get an ultrasound. The lady who did the ultrasound said I definitely had hernias. I went to the surgeon my family doctor sent me to and he was sure I had the three hernial just by doing the cough test. He did not even look at the ultrasound and said we can tell if someone has an hernia without the ultrasound. He recommended surgery by I walked out without deciding to get one.

      I am a side sleeper and used to sleep in a fetal position but then I changed my sleeping position by straightening the bottom leg which put me in the same position you assume when you do a floor abdominal stretch. After sleeping in this position for about a year developed the pains. . I noticed that this new sleeping position, floor abdominal stretch, was putting tension on my lower abdomen. I went back to sleeping in a fetal position with both of my knees bent together and the next day I had about a 50% reduction in pain, as I stated my IHs went away for good after three days and the third hernia after about two months.

      I went back to my family doctor for my next annual check up and I asked him to check my hernias. He just checked the one below my navel and said that when I coughed he felt that something started to push out and then it stopped. I asked him if the first time he checked there was any difference and he said that the tissue was definitely pushing out significantly more for him to say I had a hernia where now I didn’t in his opinion. He asked me what I did and I told him and then he said that he was going to tell his patients who have the same problem to try that.

      I have gone back to sleep in a floor abdominal stretch position and after three days my entire lower abdomen for left to right feels sore. I go back to sleeping in a fetal positiion and the soreness goes away after a few day. I also noticed that if I lie down on my back I feel tension on my lower abdomen and that when I lied down in a fetal position my entire abdomen feels very relaxed,

    • #19138
      UhOh!
      Member

      Is there perhaps an additional/alternate use for belts/trusses that’s being overlooked? As more and more people become skeptical of mesh, but tissue repair recurrence rates remain (theoretically) high, might it not be appropriate to use such a device during the post-op period? Would it not make sense that such adjunctive support could help the repair fully heal whereas one’s normal life would otherwise put too much stress on it too early?

    • #21111
      Alephy
      Participant

      This is one of the nicest posts I have seen so far….and @drtowfigh answer was a truly interesting one, and one you will not hear much from other doctors!

      For the exercises that have been discussed, I would add from my own experience that perhaps one should check if they work for them, as some of them can exacerbate back pain. In general from the 7 or 8 that you can find on YouTube I have started doing 2 or 3 that I like and do not put my back under stress (that is just me, mind you)..

      As for the medicine and the medical community consensus, let me tell you an anecdote: some 40 years ago it was believed that the meniscus did not play any important role in the human body, and so many people with a say knee injury were operated where the meniscus was simply and totally removed! I don’t need to tell you what the consequence of that for the patients was, and we know a great deal more about the role of the meniscus now (thank God)…

      BTW we often hear that this or that works 90% of the times, or that only 5% of people really recover from this or that disease….well it is time we move to worrying about the 10% who do not respond to treatment, and if I have something serious I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THE 5% WHO RECOVERED AGAINST ALL ODDS…especially considering the big number of variables at play…

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