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Exercising/Lifting Weights After Hernia Repair

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  • Exercising/Lifting Weights After Hernia Repair

    I had an inguinal hernia repair at the Shouldice Hospital 18 months ago and since then I've been hesitant to get back into weightlifting and certain other physical activities that I'm afraid would pose a potential risk of recurrence of the hernia. I've gotten back into playing ice hockey, riding a bike, and yoga--and I've done some light weightlifting here and there--but in general I am afraid of lifting heavy weights, doing exercises that work the abs directly, or in general putting myself in a position to rupture the repair or cause a new hernia to form on the other side. I had an appointment with a doctor (not from Shouldice) a few months ago to address some concerns regarding the fact I still have a lumpy area around the original repair. He told me that I will always be at risk for ecurrence and I should stay away from lifting weights or even lifting heavy awkward objects like sofas and refrigerators. But the doctors at Shouldice told me I shouldn't have any restrictions whatsoever.

    My question is: Does anyone know of any guidance regarding particular types of exercises to avoid to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence or new hernia? Would it be better to do bodyweight exercises rather than lifting weights? Are there particular exercises, like squats or deadlifts, that should be avoided because they create more abdominal pressure?

  • #2
    Personally I would take the advice of the Shouldice doctors who did your repair and not worry about recurrence. Their recurrence rate is said to be something like 0.5% which is amongst the lowest in the world for any hernia repair method.

    Avoiding unnecessary abdominal pressure is probably a good idea in general though, particularly since you could always end up with a hernia on the other side

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