Real Disappointment—Hernia only 5 weeks in.

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Thread: Real Disappointment—Hernia only 5 weeks in.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    68

    Default Real Disappointment—Hernia only 5 weeks in.

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    A real downer. After getting my deadlift up to 5 x 170, I happened to see myself in the mirror, and saw a fairly large bulge in the right pubic area. When palpitating it I can definitely feel a hard bulge protruding. When I sit or lie down, the bulge disappears—it is only there while standing. No pain whatsoever.

    Of course, I have suspended training and plan to contact a surgeon this week. However, I am so disappointed—because I know the doctor and my wife will team up —because of my age—to try to get me not to ever lift anything—ever again. I intend to deal with that—but it’s going to be a real hassle.

    I have had an inguinal hernia (in the scrotum) on the left side and an umbilical one repaired several years ago—with mesh—and I am going to see if the surgeon will do preventative surgery on the left pubic area as well.

    Question is: Can hernias pop out just anywhere in the abdominal area? If not, I can maybe see a possible light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t a locomotive. Otherwise, I’m not sure how to proceed. I realize this shot is mostly hereditary—but at my age, having to face the possibility of surgery every time I pick up over 150 pounds—is just frankly depressing as hell.

    Don’t get me wrong—I know I’m not having to deal with serious issues like the gentleman who works his ass off despite fighting cancer! I realize it’s all relative!

    Thanks, and best regards,

    Russ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Long Island, NY
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    Hey Russ, it's kind of hard to answers these questions. It seems from your history that you are at a higher risk of hernias than the average person. They usually occur due to a pre-existing weakness in the abdominal wall (typically genetic/hereditary) or because of trauma sustained to the area. There is no way to know where the weak spots are, and even if there was, there is nothing you can do about them beforehand. This is, unfortunately, a case of really shitty luck. Your best bet is to keep training. Things that you can control to help manage this is possibly slowing your rate of progression, reduce exercise frequency, and having periods of time training with lower loads. I would make sure your surgeon knows what you plan on doing after the surgery. If he is a good surgeon it will influence his decision making processes during the surgery.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2019
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    Thanks very much, Nick. Your views pretty much coincides with my own, less well-informed thinking. I fully intend—from reading other hernia-related threads on this site—to let him know my views on the essential aspects of strength in old-age—and that I absolutely MUST keep lifting.

    I will also ask him what he considers the degree of risk for continued increase in poundage. (But we both KNOW he will be conservative!)

    My fear is that hernias might keep popping out one after the other—thereby lessening my ability to lift at all! I THINK (without knowing of course) that of my progression in the lifts to date(Squat=95/Press=57.5/Bench=85/Deadlift=170) that it was most likely the deadlift that broke the camel’s back. (I was only adding 5 pounds per session).

    I suppose I might have to end up doing lighter lifts—with no progression—for greater # of reps—which would lessen the chance of hernias, while at least keeping sarco and osteopenia a LITTLE at bay.

    But damnit—that wouldn’t be DOING THE PROGRAM!

    Thanks again.

    Russ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    220

    Default

    Plenty written on the boards about the risk for hernias being genetic and how lifting may *reveal* hernias but doesn’t cause them.

    Also lots written about lifting heavy, and you can and will lift much heavier, after a mesh repair.

    Doctors know about diagnosing and fixing hernias. Coaches (smart experienced ones like you generally find around here, anyway) know about training after a hernia. Take advice according to the expertise of the advisor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Long Island, NY
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    You're welcome Russ! Good luck and keep us updated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Thanks for the encouragement, Gentlemen. Have a call in to the surgeon of choice down here deep in the bowels of South Texas. [Bad pun definitely intended!😀]

    What I’m hoping is that inguinal hernias are almost exclusively described as occurring in the groin area—so maybe if I get that whole area messed up, I’ll be reinforced where most needed!

    Best regards,

    Russ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Coach Nick,

    I have a question: Not holding you to anything, as I realize you were not there and don't even know me--but since I didn't feel it when it happened, what would be your guess as to the straw that broke the camel's back? My guess, given the totals I listed earlier, would be that it was the 170 pound set of deadlifts.

    Also, more generally, what would be your assessment--among the four program lifts (I don't do power cleans or snatches) is the most likely to cause abdominal herniation in one, like myself, who obviously has a predisposition? My assumption would ben (in order of likelihood) (1) deadlift, (2) squat, (3) press, and bench press.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Russ

  8. #8
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    Nov 2012
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    Long Island, NY
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    Hey Russ, I don't have an answer to these questions, nor do I think the answers would be helpful. Searching for these types of answers will divert your focus away from what you can do to manage this. The straw that breaks the camels back is not the one to blame. All the straws share an equal contribution to the result. When you take a multifactorial mindset, you start to see a bigger picture. You are trying to zoom in, and I want you to zoom out. Zooming out will offer you options for how to manage your training going forward. Zooming in, in this case, is just guessing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    68

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    Gotcha, Coach. Sounds like good advice. You have obviously diagnosed that I have become scared shitless of my favorite lift—the deadlift.😀

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
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    1,472

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    starting strength coach development program
    If you are worried about deadlifting, you'd better not cough or jump, or even take a crap (a friend of mine had his hernia show up when he was bearing down on toilet). I had surgery a little over 2yr ago and have exceeded my previous deadlift without problems.

    Breathing and Hernia

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