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Beach Cushions

What causes a hernia?

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with a hernia and are not sure what caused it? Learn from the hernia surgeons at the Advanced Hernia Specialists about what causes hernias, what factors put you at higher risk of developing one and how to prevent them.

Causes of Hernias:

  • As you learned in the "What is a Hernia?" section, a hernia is a hole or defect in the abdominal wall or groin that allows tissues or organs that are normally on the inside of your body, to push through (herniate) to the outside of the body where they clearly do not belong. As noted in the previous section, hernias are very common (over 5 Billion repairs annually worldwide) and are typically caused by a combination of muscle weakness of the abdominal wall and strain. The most common types occur through a natural hole, where some anatomic structure normally travels or did travel at some point in normal fetal development. In some people, hernias develop over a long period (even since the time of birth in some cases) where in others, they develop very quickly, often stemming from some type of strenuous activity. As noted before, most people do not initially experience pain or any other symptoms when they first notice the hernia, while others experience pain, sometimes severe pain.  ​

  • In the majority of cases, if not treated, hernias will progress and become larger over time, often eventually causing symptoms (or worsening symptoms). In some cases, they can develop to a point where they can cause severe and even life-threatening complications. We are here to educate you about hernias, to try and help you avoid these complications, and to help you get your hernia treated to remove your risk of developing such complications before it becomes an emergency. Treatment is extremely common and that's all we at Advanced Hernia Specialists (AHS) do every single week.  

Common causes of hernias include: 

  • A defect from fetal development that occurs before or after birth 

  • Straining to urinate (enlarged prostate) or to have a bowel movement 

  • Lifting heavy objects or weights, obesity 

  • Strenuous activity or exercise

  • Frequent coughing from conditions such as smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, or other lung problems

  • Weakness of abdominal muscles at the site of a scar from abdominal surgery 

  • Pregnancy (stretches and weakens the abdominal wall)

Risk Factors for development of hernias

There are many risk factors that contribute to hernias, and many of them depend on the type of hernia, but the most common risk factors for developing a hernia are:


  • Previous abdominal surgery

  • Chronic or frequent coughing

  • Chronic or frequent sneezing.

  • Smoking

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • Steroid use 

  • Older age

  • Frequent constipation

  • Malnutrition 

  • Pregnancy 

  • Occupation with heavy physical labor (warehouse work, moving company, etc.)

  • Sports, especially professional sports

  • Family history of hernias

  • Premature birth  

Next Steps

  • If you think you may have a hernia, or you have been diagnosed with one by your doctor, please schedule an appointment with us at Advanced Hernia Specialists. We are experts in the field of hernia surgery, and we are committed to delivering excellent care and the best patient outcomes possible. We offer the most cost-effective options, as well as the most advanced laparoscopic, minimally invasive, and robotic surgical techniques for hernia repair. 

You can schedule an appointment with us by calling 904-808-5658, using our online Contact form, or Book Online.





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