Hernias are a common work-related injury, especially in jobs that require a lot of lifting and physical activity. Before the advent of modern surgery, doctors advised at-risk patients to avoid extensive physical activity to prevent or treat hernias.
Today, there’s no need to hang up your hat or change careers to steer clear of a hernia. Adults everywhere can engage fully in their physically demanding job and reduce the chances of developing a hernia with some practical hernia prevention tips.
A hernia, what’s that about?
Hernias are typically straightforward to diagnose and treat. They occur when a weakness in the structure that keeps your organs in place allows organs and tissues to push through. Some patients notice a bulge in their abdomen or groin but no other troublesome symptoms, while others may experience pain and discomfort in the herniated area and experience complications as a result.
Some people are more at risk than others
The peritoneum is a strong membrane that lines the abdomen and holds your abdominal organs in place. Some people are born with a weakness or defect in the peritoneum that makes them more at risk of developing a hernia. If you’re one of these people and you have an active job, you may not be able to avoid developing a hernia. The best advice from the team at Rockwall Surgical Specialists is to perform your job using safety precautions and best practices.
Reducing the strain you put on your body during your physically demanding work days is the best way to lower your chances of developing a hernia. Our experts share some tips on how you can improve your safety at work.
Use lifting equipment when necessary
Avoid physically lifting or taking on more than you can handle. You may feel that you can get the job done faster or more efficiently if you haul everything yourself, but doing so can put too much strain on your body. Before you know it, a bulge can develop in your groin or abdomen — a telltale sign that you’ve developed a hernia.
When you have loads that are heavier than you can safely handle on your own, enlist the help of lifting equipment. Whether the job calls for a hoist, jack, or forklift, this equipment is there for your safety and to help you accomplish your work.
Wear a stabilizing belt
Bodybuilders aren’t the only ones who benefit from wearing stabilizing belts when lifting heavy weights. These belts serve an important purpose when it comes to lowering the risk of straining your body when performing a physically demanding job.
Stabilizing belts provide support for your lower back when lifting. Wearing one at work helps keep your back stable while working and prevents strain, reducing the chances of developing a hernia.
Use proper lifting form and technique
Practicing proper technique provides a stable base for lifting, better distributes the weight of the item you’re lifting, and allows your legs to do the bulk of the work. This takes the strain off of areas like your abdominal muscles.
To use proper form, keep your feet shoulder-width apart to provide a wide, stable base. When you squat down, use good posture by keeping your back straight and looking straight ahead. Avoid rushing. Lift slowly, and lead with your hips as you follow through with the lift.
Effective treatment is available if you develop a hernia. The surgeons at Rockwall Surgical Specialists offer the latest advancements in hernia surgery and have extensive experience performing minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Also known as keyhole surgery, laparoscopic hernia surgery typically involves making small three small incisions in the abdomen instead of a single larger incision.
Good work safety practices can often lower your risk of developing a hernia; however, if you suspect or know that you have a hernia, it’s important to seek medical attention. When you need hernia surgery, call the nearest Rockwall Surgical Specialists office, or request an appointment online.