A hernia is when a piece of internal tissue or internal organ which is normally held in place by muscles, manages to push its way through the muscle that make up the wall of the abdomen.
Hernias can appear in the abdomen or groin and are usually brought about by strenuous activity or heavy lifting.
This results in a bulge under the skin and possibly pain.
This bulge might come and go or be there all the time.
Looking after yourself
- You should avoid any bending and particularly lifting until you see your doctor.
- Avoid any activity that may be causing the pain or swelling, or that makes the symptoms reappear.
- You should also avoid any strenuous activity for at least two to three days after your symptoms have gone.
- An ice pack may help relieve swelling but should not be placed directly against the skin. It should be wrapped in a clean cloth to avoid burning the skin. Ice packs can be re-applied every two to three hours but do not leave them on the skin for more than 20 minutes at a time.
- Avoid wearing any tight clothing around the painful or swollen area.
- If you are in pain, get advice on medicines you can take.
- If the bulge becomes very painful and doesn’t go away, see your doctor
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about your groin pain or swelling, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Last reviewed: July 2015