To put on an inguinal hernia belt, lay down on your back, fold your knees up, and massage your hernia to push it back in (see Step 2); then, with the bulge flat, put on the belt. The belt should keep your bulge flat when you stand up and walk around. Sometimes, it helps to add a small folded sheet of cotton padding to better direct the belt’s pressure. Try to improvise with each belt, until you find one that is comfortable and keeps your hernia flat as you go about your daily activities.
Step 7. Wear your inguinal hernia belt
You should wear your inguinal hernia belt every time you are about. Remove the belt when you lay down, and when you exercise laying on your back or laying on your side.
The opening in the abdominal wall that lets your intestine pop out cannot heal, when it’s being kept open by the intestine. Pushing the intestine in and keeping it there with your inguinal hernia belt may allow the opening to shrink and heal, if it is caused by loss of muscle tissue and you are performing mild exercises to bulk-up your abdominal muscles.
Please note: it is best to remove your hernia belt before going through airport security, as it is likely to be detected by body scanners and cause suspicion by screening personnel. You can put it back on in a bathroom, right after passing through security.
Step 8. Exercise
Lay on your back and remove your hernia belt. Make sure your bulge is flat in.
While continuing to lay on your back with the bulge flat in, perform a sequence of mild abdominal exercises (exercises that strengthen the core muscles). I recommend the so-called Pilates mat sequence, which you can find on the web or in books. Perform each exercise in the sequence very slowly and evenly; each exercise should last 10-15 seconds (longer is better). No repeats are necessary – do each exercise once slowly and evenly. After each exercise, make sure your bulge is still flat in; if not, push it in before continuing. Do not exercise with your hernia bulging out.
For additional exercises, you can search in professional physical therapy publications, using the terms “Athletic Pubalgia”. You will find additional recommendations for exercise routines. I should mention that muscle separation (with inguinal hernia type bulges) can also occur in athletes as a result of improper training technique.
Step 9. How often should you exercise?