A hernia occurs when an organ or other tissue protrudes through a weakened or damaged muscle, most often in the abdominal or groin region. The most common causes of such severe muscle weakness are injury, surgery, and old age.
After the muscle has been weakened, excessive straining can trigger the development of a hernia, because it is not strong enough to endure the internal pressure. Hence, many people who have been diagnosed with a hernia, or are aware that they are at risk of developing such a condition, look for trusses and belts to provide their muscles with extra support during everyday activities.
If you have been diagnosed with a hernia, or are concerned with the possibility of developing one, you are probably considering buying a hernia belt to ease the pain and make your life more comfortable. However, with the sheer number of different hernia belts available both online and at medical supply stores, choosing the right one for yourself can seem overwhelming.
Below are four tips that will help you choose the best hernia belt for you.
Choose the Right Type of Hernia Belt
There are two most common types of hernia belts, matching the two most common locations where a hernia occurs: inguinal hernia belt and umbilical hernia belt. Naturally, the right type of hernia belt for you will depend on the type of hernia you are suffering from or trying to prevent, as well as on its size.
An inguinal hernia is a hernia that develops in the scrotum and groin area, and inguinal hernia belts are designed specifically to provide the muscles in this region with support and compression, in order to both keep an existing hernia from becoming worse and prevent a hernia from developing in the first place.
An umbilical hernia develops in the abdominal region, close to the belly button, and umbilical hernia belts essentially have the same function as inguinal hernia belts, with a different shape, designed to accommodate the abdominal area.
Make Sure You Get the Right Size
There are several size categories when it comes to hernia belts. However, they may not be the same for all brands, so your best course of action would be to measure the appropriate dimensions of your body and compare them to the size chart of the brand you opt for.
Getting your hernia belt in the right size is important, because if the belt is too tight or too loose, it will not provide you with the appropriate amount of compression and support and may even cause further injury.
This is why you should take the time to make sure your hernia belt will fit perfectly. A properly fitting hernia belt must not slip off or move during your daily routine, while also providing you with unrestricted movement. It should fit and feel comfortable while providing your muscles with enough compression and support.
Consider the Number of Pads
Another factor worth considering when buying a hernia belt is the number of pressure pads it features. Some hernia belts have two pads instead of one and they may even be detachable, which can prove to be very convenient. Being able to attach pressure pads to one or both sides of your body is especially important if you are suffering from a bilateral hernia.
Consider Your Lifestyle
It is important to keep your lifestyle in mind when choosing which hernia belt to buy, as it can influence the type of hernia belt which is right for you.
If you spend most of your time sitting in a chair while working and don’t engage in a lot of physical activity in your free time, you should opt for a heavier hernia belt which provides more support to your groin or abdominal region.
On the other hand, if you have an active lifestyle or a job that requires you to move around a lot, a lightweight hernia belt with more flexibility will probably suit you better. In some situations and for some users the visibility of the belt can also be an issue. Some of the lighter hernia belts are made with a low profile so they can be worn discreetly under your regular clothes.
In any case, you should consult your doctor when choosing between a lighter and a heavier belt, as they will be able to inform you about their respective benefits and help you decide which of the two will suit you better.
Who Can Benefit From Wearing a Hernia Belt?
If you have been diagnosed with a hernia or are recovering from hernia surgery, and your physician has recommended that you start wearing a hernia belt, you should definitely follow their advice. However, wearing a hernia belt can also be beneficial for anyone suffering from health problems related to hernias.
If surgery is required in order to treat the hernia, the comfort and pain alleviation provided by a hernia belt can make your everyday life easier and allow you to keep your ability to work and continue enjoying your regular activities.
A hernia belt can also aid and speed up the recovery process after the surgery, as the weakened muscles will be vulnerable and need the extra support of a hernia belt. Even if you have not been diagnosed with a hernia, but suspect you might be at risk of developing one, due to other health factors, a hernia belt can be worn as a preventive measure when performing strenuous activities.
Considering the benefits and differences between various hernia belts, choosing the best possible option is important in order to get the most out of your purchase. Hopefully, the tips in this article will prove useful to you in finding the best hernia belt for yourself.
However, it is imperative to keep in mind that the doctor’s advice is never to be ignored or neglected and that they are the ones who can help you the most with this decision.