Pain and discomfort from a hernia are often unbearable, making medication or surgery the only forms of relief. There are a variety of medications that are used based on the type of hernia. Every hernia patient has his own level of pain tolerance, which makes it important to find the best medication for each patient. For some patients, medication for hernia pain will only be prescribed while waiting for surgery.
Definition and Symptoms
A hernia can occur when an internal organ extends outside of its normal area into another part of the body. There are many different types of hernias, which are named after the location of the weakness. Although some hernias do not produce any symptoms or pain, it often depends on the location of the hernia and the size of the protrusion. Symptoms may be a painless lump to a tender and swollen lump of tissue that is not able to be pushed back. When a hernia is able to be reduced or pushed back, medication may be used as part of a treatment plan.
If you have a tender or swollen lump, it may be a hernia and it warrants a visit to your physician. All hernias can become dangerous as they can become strangulated and cut off blood supply to the area, which may cause gangrene. If surgery is not an option or if it needs to be delayed, a doctor will most likely advise against heavy lifting, coughing, and straining and prescribe medication. Hernias cannot be cured with medication, so it is normally only used to help reduce symptoms.
In most cases pain medications are prescribed to ease the discomfort of a hernia and will not fix the hernia itself. A physician will most likely suggest that you take ibruprofen as it will reduce swelling around the hernia and may help it go back to its intended area. Although naproxen can help reduce pain, it does thin the blood and puts strain on the liver, so it should be taken with caution.
Pain Medication and Muscle Relaxants
Pain medication and muscle relaxers can help to reduce the pain and help relax the muscles. These are normally meant for a short-term treatment. It is important to recognize that if you are in severe pain, it may be a sign of a strangulated hernia, which requires immediate medical attention and surgery to repair the hernia.
Belts and Binding
If the hernia has a large opening, a physician may medicate and also provide a surgical belt or binding to help hold the hernia back and reduce pain from the hernia.
Surgery is often needed to reduce the risk of hernia pain. There are many procedures that are done based on the location, size, and type of hernia. Surgery is normally suggested if there is a chance of strangulation where the blood supply is cut off. During surgery, the hernia will be pushed back or removed and the tear or hole that allows the protrusion will be stitched up or covered with mesh. Hernia repair is normally done on an outpatient basis.