running with a hernia

Whether you’re training for a marathon, or you simply like to run for leisure, when you have a hernia, it can throw a wrench in your routine. Navigating the do’s and don’ts of physical activity with a hernia is crucial, not only for your performance, but also for your health.

Here we look at the implications of running with a hernia. Also, how to safely return to running after hernia surgery.

What is a hernia?

A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. The most common types are found in the abdomen and groin areas, like inguinal hernias in the groin, umbilical hernias near the belly button, and hiatal hernias in the upper stomach.

Symptoms may include a noticeable bulge, pain, or discomfort, especially when bending over, coughing, or lifting. There may also be a burning or aching sensation at the site of the bulge.

Some hernias are more apparent when standing up or undertaking physical activity, which is why they can become a particular concern for runners.

Is it a bad idea to run with a hernia?

Whether one should run with a hernia depends very much on the type of hernia and often its size. Sometimes, It can exacerbate symptoms of pain. The repetitive motion and increased intra-abdominal pressure from running can further stress the weakened area, potentially enlarging the hernia or causing additional discomfort. However it is often fine to run with a hernia particularly if it is small and there is no pain. It is essential to listen to your body and consult with a medical professional to evaluate your specific situation.

In general, high intensity running or training should be avoided until after the hernia has been surgically repaired.

Running after hernia surgery

Most hernias eventually need surgery as they don’t disappear on their own. Surgical repair is the only way to permanently eliminate them. Following surgery, it’s important to give your body time to heal before hitting the pavement again.

The waiting period can vary, typically ranging from a week to a couple of months, depending on the extent of the surgery and your individual recovery rate. It’s crucial to gradually reintroduce physical activity, starting with walking and slowly progressing to jogging and then running.

Resuming running after hernia surgery should be done under the guidance of your healthcare provider, who can tailor the advice based on the type of hernia repair and your overall health. Following a structured rehabilitation program will also help strengthen the affected area and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Given the complexities and individual variations of hernia conditions and treatments, consulting with a hernia specialist is essential.

Schedule an appointment to have Mr Stellakis assess your hernia and create a personalised treatment plan based on your needs. This professional guidance and treatment will ensure you return to running safely, with your health and long-term recovery as the top priority.

Don’t let a hernia set you back. With the right care and expert advice, you can get back to running and enjoying your active lifestyle safely and confidently.