I wanted to do this post to answer a question that I get asked a lot of times, which is “Should I wear a hernia belt for an inguinal hernia?”. I guess a lot of people go to the doctor, or the surgeon, and get advice that they shouldn’t wear a hernia belt because they say that it’s going to weaken the muscles that are used to hold the abdominal contents in place. I get what they’re saying, but the way that I always viewed it was, the reason that I had a hernia was because I had a weakness in the musculature surrounding the inguinal canal. So, if I already have a weakness there, then why wouldn’t I want to put something in place (the hernia belt) to be able to hold the abdominal contents back while I strengthen the muscle? Then I would slowly be able to take the hernia belt off as the muscle gets strong enough to hold the abdominal contents back.
This is the way that I did it. I wore the hernia belt all day every day from the time I woke up in the morning to the time I went to bed at night. I only took it off to take a shower. In the meanwhile, I was doing the workout that I have on my YouTube channel to strengthen the musculature around the inguinal canal. Then, once I felt like I could take off the hernia belt off for periods of time where the hernia wouldn’t poke out anymore, I would do that to wean myself off of wearing the hernia belt so that the musculature could get strong enough and get used to holding the abdominal contents back.
Think about it like this: If you had nothing wrong with your legs, and you were in a wheelchair, and you used the wheelchair all the time every day, all day. Over a couple of months or a couple of years, you probably wouldn’t be able to stand up any more because your muscles would be so weak from depending on that wheelchair all the time.
It’s the same thing with the hernia belt. Once your muscles are strong enough, of course you’re going to want to take the hernia belt off and let the muscles do the work to hold the abdominal contents back. At first though, you already have a weakness in the inguinal canal, which is the reason why you have a hernia. That’s why you need something to hold the abdominal contents in while you can strengthen up the weak muscle. That’s my take on it.
One thing I think that’s worth mentioning is this: I don’t think that anyone that has an inguinal hernia that’s not reducible (able to be pushed back into the abdomen) should wear a hernia belt at all, because if the hernia is not reducible, then basically with the hernia belt you’re just smashing the hernia into your pelvis.
I’m not a doctor or a physical therapist. This is my experience from what I did, and from what I’ve learned over the past five years that I’ve been dealing with my hernia, so don’t take this as medical advice.