A Hiatal hernia involves part of the stomach pushing up through the diaphragm muscle. In order for something like this to happen, there must be a compromised nerve supply to the diaphragm because this muscle should be able to maintain its integrity throughout your lifespan. The nerves that control the diaphragm originate from the spinal levels C3-C5 which are located in your neck. If these nerves get compressed from forward head carriage (reversed cervical curve) or degeneration then this will disrupt the function of your diaphragm which allows the stomach to herniate through the diaphragm. This can be easily corrected with proper chiropractic care which can restore the cervical curve, alleviating the pressure on the nervous system and stimulate proper function of the diaphragm.
Epigastric (Abdominal) Hernias
Epigastric hernias involve a weakness in the abdominal muscle which allows the tissues of the abdomen to protrude through. There are a few things that can cause epigastric hernias: excessive weight, weak intrinsic abdominal muscles, and improper biomechanics/structure of the lumbar, pelvis, and sacrum. If you work on properly correcting these causes of hernias you’ll be able to prevent them in the future as well as speed up your recovery time.
The first step is to have the proper diet to encourage a speedy recovery and proper healing. If you haven’t done so already, you need to switch to an organic plant based diet with lots of healthy fats like coconut oil and olive oil. You’ll also want to avoid any packaged or processed food as well as any meats because these are loaded with toxins which directly effect the health and quality of your body. You’ll want to supplement appropriately with vitamin D, vitamin C with bioflavinoids, omega 3 (fish oil), Lugol’s Solution (iodine), and a mineral/amino acid supplement like Body Balance from Life Force. Make sure you get the highest quality supplements you can find because these are vital for improving your health. I also suggest juicing vegetables and blending fruits on a daily basis.
Here are a few videos to help you get started:
Exercises for Hernia Prevention
One of the main causes of hernias is a weak abdominal wall and weak intrinsic abdominal muscles. Even professional athletes sometimes forget to exercise these vital muscles. So there are a few exercises that will strengthen these muscles and prevent future hernias.
The first exercise is the “Bear Down” exercise which utilizes the same muscles for defecating and strengthens the Transverse abdominal muscle. For this exercise you’ll want to increase the pressure in your abdomen so that you feel a rigidity all the way around your abdomen. Usually, people that have a weak transverse abdominal muscle will feel a soft spot just above the hips during this exercise. The goal is to do this exercise on a regular basis until you feel a constant rigidity all the way around your abdomen.
The next exercise is the Expansion/Contraction exercise which strengthens the intrinsic muscles of the abdomen. First, you’ll forcefully push your belly out like an inflated balloon as far as you can and hold it for a few seconds. Then you’ll suck in your belly as far as you can and try to imagine your belly button touching your spine and hold it for a few seconds. The longer you hold these positions the more intense you’ll make the exercise.
The only exercises that I don’t recommend, especially if you’ve had a hernia are sit-ups and crunches. These exercises create an abnormal build up of intra-abdominal pressure and can cause future hernias especially if you have weak intrinsic abdominal muscles. An alternative exercise for the rectus abdominal muscle (the 6 pack) is doing planks or modified planks. For this exercise you’ll keep your body completely rigid and straight while having your elbows on the ground. There are many modifications to the plank and they are all great as long as you keep your core muscles engaged and keep your body straight.
One of the most important keys to healing and preventing future hernias is to get your spine and nervous system checked by a corrective chiropractor. Any structural or biomechanical problems in your spine, sacrum or pelvis can cause hernias and many other health problems in the future. So you need to find a corrective chiropractor that can analyze your spine and nervous system, identify the specific problems, and correct them accordingly. Make sure you find a chiropractor with the skills necessary to reshape the structure of the spine, restore normal biomechanics, and stimulate the nervous system to promote healing and normal function.
Here’s a video that’ll help you find the best possible chiropractor in your area: