How to Reduce an Umbilical Hernia With Exercise

An umbilical hernia is caused by excess pressure at the abdomen, specifically near your navel. Excess pressure causes your intestines to bulge through a weakened abdominal wall, causing swelling and pain. Heavy lifting, excessive coughing, obesity and multiple pregnancies are possible causes of umbilical hernia, according to MayoClinic.com. You can use exercise to treat umbilical hernias, although some cases may require surgery. Consult your physician for your best option.

Step 1

Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Place your hands underneath your thighs, and gently lift your legs toward your chest, keeping them straight. Hold for 10 seconds, and release, returning to starting position. This is referred to as the boat pose in yoga and works your core abdominal muscles. Perform daily for five to 10 repetitions.

Step 2

Lie on a slant board. Slant boards raise your feet higher than your head, taking away excess pressure as you exercise. On your slant board, you can do bicycle leg exercises by lifting your legs towards your chest. Pedal your legs while you hold your sides to stabilize yourself. Do these exercises at least three times a week for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3

Lie on your back on the floor with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Turn your bent legs to your right until they touch the floor, keeping your back firmly on the ground. Hold for five to 10 seconds, and return to starting position. Repeat on the left side. Perform this stretch daily. This stretches your abdominal muscles, making them more flexible and less likely to weaken with pressure.

Step 4

Exercise correct breathing when performing any workout. Breathe from your abdomen instead of your chest. This lifts the diaphragm and releases excess abdominal pressure.

Tip

Be patient. Hernias are a result of weakened abdominal muscles, and you need to give those muscles time to strengthen and thereby reduce the hernia.

Warning

Exercise does not always mend a hernia. In some cases surgery to push the hernia back in through the abdominal wall may be necessary. Always consult your doctor regarding your hernia before starting any exercise program to reduce it.

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