We have compiled a comprehensive guide to hernias as a resource to those who need information from a reliable source. This is not an exhaustive guide and should only serve as an overview. To get more detailed information about hernias, schedule an appointment to speak with Doctor Lemus-Rangel directly.

What Causes Hernias?

Hernias are caused by a combination of 2 things.

1) Weakness in the connective tissues or muscle, brought on by a disruption in the body’s tissue and breakdown cycle.

2) Strain or increased pressure on the weakened area.

This explanation sounds rather simple, however, hernias are complex. There are several variations of hernias, as well as different circumstances that bring about muscle weakness and pressure in the body.

2 Main Categories Of Hernias:

Acquired hernias – Develop when connective tissue or muscle in the abdomen weaken or get damaged over the course of a lifetime

Congenital hernias – Is present at birth, however, it may not be diagnosed for months or even year. Hernias that develop later in life may actually have resulted from congenital hernias.

Abdominal Wall Hernia

Typically, hernias develop in the abdomen. The stomach, intestines, and other organs in the abdomen are held in place by a wall of tissue and muscle known as the abdominal wall. The abdominal wall runs from the ribcage to the groin. When the abdominal wall muscles weaken or damage, you are at a greater risk of developing hernia. Hernias often develop in the groin as it is the weakest part of the abdominal wall.

What Causes Weakening Of The Muscles?

The body is constantly building up and breaking down muscle and tissue in a well balanced cycle. Any disruption in this cycle may lend opportunity to the development of weak spots in the muscle and tissue. As you age, the enzymes that control this process can fall out of balance. As the body looses the ability to regulate the build and repair cycle, weaknesses may develop in the tissue and muscle.

Poor nutrition, smoking, obesity, injuries and medical operations my increase the likelihood weakening muscles. Once the abdominal wall has been weakened, it is easier to strain with an increase of pressure. Pressure can come as coughing, heavy lifting, vomiting, etc. Hernias will appear as a bulge as fatty tissue or the actual intestine pushes through the weak spot.

Who is at risk?

Anyone can develop a hernia, however, there are certain factors that may increase the risk of developing a hernia, including:


Over 35

Born with the weakness

Family history of hernias

Lift heavy objects

Are overweight or obese

Chronic Cough

Sports injury