Alternative Hernia Treatments


A hernia is usually first experienced as a lump in the abdomen or groin, although sometimes you may notice the associated pain before you notice the lump. It may be hard to bend or sit for long periods at a time and the lump may increase in size when you stand or cough. The most common treatment available for hernias is surgery. However, there are several alternative forms of treatment that you can try to help alleviate the pain (if any) and swelling.

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral manipulation is an alternative form of treatment that is usually used to treat a hiatal hernia. With a hiatal hernia, the stomach is pushed up through the esophagus haitus (opening), which causes stomach acid and chest pain. Visceral manipulation, in the form of gentle massage, returns the stomach to its natural position.

Natural Products

Natural products that can be used to reduce the swelling and tenderness of hernias. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (or DGL) is an herbal supplement that is used to treat stomach acid and relieve the symptoms of stomach pain. Aloe juice is another natural treatment that can help soothe the stomach. You should drink at least a few ounces of aloe juice first thing in the morning and at night before bed. Both DGL and aloe juice can be purchased at health stores and online (see Additional Resources).

Ice and Over-the-Counter Medications

Ice can also be an effective treatment. Place the ice pack over the lump on the stomach. The ice can relieve tenderness and bring down the swelling of the area. Heat should not be applied to the hernia as it can cause muscle spasms and make the area swell, which aggravates the condition. A mild analgesic such as Tylenol or Motrin can also be used to help with pain.

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