A hernia normally occurs in workers involved in physically demanding work.
According to WebMd, “A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia.” Hernias normally do not resolve on their own, and sometimes require surgery. It can even be life threatening if not treated in time.
A hernia develops when there is muscle weakness due to old age, injury or surgery. Some other factors that can increase the risk of developing hernia include lifting heavy weights, being constipated or pregnant, persistent sneezing or coughing and sudden weight gain. Workers can develop hernia because of lifting heavy weights at work or some other causes.
In this article, we will discuss how workers can develop a hernia, and what legal options the injured worker has.
Symptoms of a Hernia
Hernia can cause a variety of symptoms. Around half of the patients with a hernia do not experience symptoms. The common symptoms include:
- A swelling beneath the skin of the groin or abdomen. It may be tender and may disappear when you lie down.
- Discomfort in the groin or abdomen when bending over or lifting
- A heavy feeling in the abdomen that may or may not be accompanied by blood in the stool or constipation
Symptoms of a hiatal hernia may include upper abdominal pain and heartburn.
Common Types of Hernia Injuries
There are a number of different types of hernia injuries, some of these include:
- Hiatal hernia: The upper portion of the stomach pushes through an opening in the diaphragm into the chest cavity
- Epigastric hernia: When fatty tissue protrudes through the abdominal wall between the sternum and naval
- Inguinal hernia: It involves one of the organs such as intestine or bladder protruding through the abdominal wall into the groin
- Femoral hernia: The intestine or some other tissue pushes through a weak spot in the groin
- Spigenial hernia: A portion of the bowel pushes through the abdominal wall below the naval
- Incision hernia: Also known as ventral hernia, it involves tissue protruding through the site of previous surgery.
Common Causes of Hernias
A hernia often result from a combination of straining and muscle weakness. In some cases, they may occur without an apparent cause. Some risk facts can increase the likelihood of a hernia. These include:
- Injury or trauma can create weakness in the tissue
- Incision from a previous surgery can create weakness in the abdominal wall
- Strained muscles from sporting activities can put pressure on abdominal muscles
- Straining when carrying and lifting heavy objects can cause tissue to bulge
Occupations at High Risk of Developing a Hernia
A hernia normally occurs in workers involved in physically demanding work such as lifting and carrying heavy loads. This can strain connective tissue and increase risk of hernia. Those at risk include health care workers, cleaners, landscapers, laborers and other manual workers.
Workers Compensation Benefits
If you have developed a hernia due to the job duties you perform, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. However, it may not be easy to prove the injury and get the benefits you need.
For more than 20 years, the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has been helping injured workers receive the workers’ compensation benefits they need and deserve. Call us today at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online case evaluation form.