Can You Exercise with an Umbilical Hernia?

A hernia occurs when a structure or organ protrudes through a weak area of muscle. With an umbilical hernia, a part of the intestine protrudes through the abdominal muscles, near the belly button. The condition is most common in infants, and umbilical hernias tend to go away within the first year, according to the Mayo Clinic. In adults factors that cause increased abdominal pressure, such as obesity, heavy lifting and pregnancy can all cause an umbilical hernia. Exercise may aggravate an umbilical hernia and you should take certain precautions to protect yourself. Consult your physician before exercising with a hernia.

A woman is jogging on the treadmill. (Image: boggy22/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wear a hernia truss during each exercise session. A hernia truss supports your abdominal muscles to prevent the hernia from worsening during exercise. Your doctor can prescribe a truss for you, or you can purchase one from a medical supply store or an online retailer.

Step 2

Use weight machines and seated exercises. Standing exercises force you to engage your abdominal muscles, which may increase the pressure in your torso and aggravate your hernia. Exercise machines isolate the muscles with little-to-no abdominal involvement.

Step 3

Avoid exercises that flex and extend your spine. Crunches, oblique exercises and back extensions can all aggravate an umbilical hernia. Do not work your abs until after the hernia has healed.

Step 4

Focus on aerobic exercises such as walking, running or an aerobics class. Cardiovascular exercise does not put as much strain on your abdomen as resistance. Wear your truss to provide additional abdominal support and be mindful of how you feel during the exercise.

Tip

Stop exercising immediately if you experience pain in the area of the hernia, or if the hernia bulges out. Consult your physician if your hernia worsens or if you experience persistent abdominal pain.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.