Is my groin pain caused by a hernia?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Are you dealing with nagging pain in the groin area? Not sure if you’ve just strained a muscle or if it’s a sign of a bigger health issue?

Experiencing groin pain is very common in people with hernias – especially inguinal hernias, which are also known as groin hernias. Hernias affect millions of people each year, but only a percentage seek treatment. That’s why we’re highlighting some tips below, as well as signs and symptoms of hernias this month, which is National Hernia Awareness Month.

There are three types of hernias, but nagging pain in the groin area usually points to an inguinal hernia, which is the most common of the three. An inguinal hernia occurs in the abdomen near the groin area and can affect men and women, though they are typically more common in men.

Of course, groin pain can be caused by other issues, such as a pulled muscle, kidney stone, or even an ovarian cyst in women. That’s why it’s important to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing pain in this area. Our team of hernia specialists can help determine the cause and best course of treatment.

How do I know if I have a hernia or a pulled groin muscle?

Feelings of dull aching and pain in the groin area are common for both a muscle strain and a hernia. A key indicator that you may have a hernia, however, is if you have a small bulge or lump on one side of the groin. This is the result of an area of tissue or organ pushing through the groin or abdominal muscle. You can usually feel it when you place your hand over the affected area. It’s also possible that a lump could appear on both sides of the groin.

You’re more likely to notice a lump when you’re standing, and it may seem to disappear when you lie down. It may grow bigger, and pain may worsen as time goes by, especially when exercising and lifting weights, or even just coughing, bending over, laughing, or other normal activities that could cause strain your groin area.

It’s important to understand that not all people with inguinal hernias experience pain (at least not at first), and a lump may still occur even without pain. Additional inguinal hernia symptoms that include:

  • Feeling of fullness
  • Weakness or pressure
  • A tugging, burning and/or aching sensation  
  • An occasional pain and swelling around the testicles for males, and/or a swollen or enlarged scrotum

When should I talk to my doctor about my groin pain?

Don’t ignore a sore groin. Your first plan of action should be to consult your doctor. Even if your pain isn’t severe, inguinal hernias can cause serious complications if left untreated. Hernias do not heal on their own, so getting treatment sooner than later will help you get back to your normal, everyday lifestyle.

In many cases, your doctor will recommend surgery. Fortunately, hernia repair is a common surgical procedure with a relatively short recovery time, especially when choosing a surgeon who specializes in hernia repair.

Choose the Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center for Your Hernia Repair

The Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is recognized by Surgical Review Corporation as a Center of Excellence for its commitment to providing the highest quality of care for patients who undergo hernia surgery. 

As a designated Center of Excellence for Hernia Surgery, NGMC’s surgical outcomes are higher than the national average, while our complication rates remain much lower. Our experienced surgeons have performed nearly 6,000 minimally invasive hernia repairs and more than 1,500 robotic hernia repairs using the da Vinci surgical system. 

At the Hernia Center of NGMC, our surgeons produce very low complication rates, with less than 1% of patients returning to the operating room, less than 1% being readmitted to the hospital, and less than 1% developing a recurring hernia. 

Learn more about the Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, or call 770-282-8956 to speak to our care team about questions or to schedule an appointment.