A hernia is one of the major fears of any athlete. It disturbs major activities before and after corrective surgery.
A hernia can take the fun out of the trip for a person who loves hiking. Therefore, a hiking trip with the hernia may seem inevitable.
In this situation, it may seem like the ideal action, so you don’t miss out. But, it is best to get the correct information to know if you can go hiking with a hernia.
You can’t go hiking with a hernia. Strenuous activities will put pressure on the hernia and worsen it. It would be best to undergo a hernia surgery before going on hiking. However, you must ensure your doctor gives you clearance and have the necessary hiking hernia support before going on the hiking trip.
In this article, I will explain if you can go hiking after a hernia, how soon you can take a hike after hernia surgery, and what support you need for hiking after a hernia.
By the end, you’ll also understand the steps to a quick recovery after hernia surgery.
Can I Go Hiking After a Hernia?
No, you can’t go hiking after a hernia; waiting till you heal correctly is essential. However, you can begin with short walks two weeks after your surgery.
Then, gradually increase your walking distance until your doctor clears you for hiking. Also, you should avoid walking on strenuous paths and carrying backpacks.
It is best to always take your doctor’s advice before going on a hiking trip. Although, recovery after surgery varies in different situations.
It depends on the type of hernia and the surgery each person had. For example, laparoscopic surgery patients are more likely to go home on the same day.
But a more invasive surgery patient may have to stay in the hospital for a few more days.
The recovery process will also depend on the patient’s actions. But the doctor will eventually clear you for hiking activities.
Nonetheless, while waiting for the doctor’s clearance, there are things you can do to heal faster.
Here are the tips to help you recover faster after a hernia.
#1. Follow Doctor’s Orders
Your doctor and surgeon are the best to help you in your recovery journey. You can get professional help and advice from them.
The doctors know everything about your surgery and health history and can detect any changes and progress after the hernia.
Therefore, you need to make sure to attend your follow-up appointments. Follow the rules and prescriptions the doctors give you.
#2. Avoid Strenuous Activities
One of the rules you get from the doctor after a hernia is to avoid strenuous activities. These activities include lifting heavy objects and taking long walks.
The surgeon may tell you not to lift objects heavier than 15 pounds because lifting heavy objects will put pressure on your surgical incision.
This pressure could make your surgical stitches break open and affect your health. It will also affect the healing process and even get infected.
Before doing anything, it is best to always check your discharge orders for your doctor’s instructions.
#3. Reduce Swelling
It is normal to experience some swelling after hernia surgery. But, excessive swelling can cause pain and slow down the recovery process.
You can use pain relief medications such as ibuprofen to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Also, you can put ice packs near and on the surgical area to reduce swelling and pain. Do this for 20 minutes at a time.
But it is best to avoid sleeping with an ice pack. It makes you numb, catches a cold, or develops other illnesses.
Alternatively, you can use a hernia brace to recover faster. Hernia braces are for inguinal hernias to apply counter pressure against it.
You can adjust them to allow swelling, but it might be uncomfortable to use them immediately after surgery.
So, it is best to heal for a while before using a brace against the surgical site.
Resting for 24 to 72 hours after your hernia surgery is crucial and avoid all activities during this period.
Resting will give your body enough time to heal correctly. Also, it will help to avoid putting strain and stress on your stitches.
However, resting doesn’t mean you should be on complete bed rest; you can walk around a little to prevent numbness and stiffness. But, it should be minimal.
#5. Return to Activities
Your doctor should guide you to quick recovery and specify timelines on when to try activities until you return to regular activities.
The activities will help prevent you from losing muscle strength and flexibility. It will also help to keep your legs active and blood flowing to prevent blood clots.
Following the doctor’s guide and using the tips above, you should be ready for hiking sooner than expected.
How Soon Can I Hike After Hernia Surgery?
You can take a hiking trip at least 12 weeks after your hernia surgery. But you must make your body ready for the hiking trip by exercising daily.
If you feel pain while doing these little exercises, you are probably not ready for a hiking trip.
Also, you should contact your doctor with questions concerning your exercise routine or pain at the surgery site.
You can begin taking short walks and gradually increase the duration in a low-level area. Then, you can try climbing stairs to see if you still feel pain.
This exercise will help increase blood circulation and prepare your body for hiking. It will also help damaged tissues and muscles to heal faster.
Before getting to the stage where you can start hiking, there are other regular routines you can do within specific time frames.
The table below will help you know the activities you can do within specific periods.
|Activities||Time After Hernia|
|Light resistance exercises||Three weeks|
|Light jogging||Four weeks|
|Non-impact activities like biking and tennis||Six weeks|
|Strenuous sports like Hiking||Twelve to sixteen weeks|
It is essential to know that this duration may vary in different people. So, your doctor should give you clearance before going on a hiking trip.
What Support Do I Need for Hiking After a Hernia?
The support you need for hiking after a hernia is a hiking hernia truss or belt. It will help to make you feel comfortable during the hiking trip.
This belt is easily removable and breathable, and you can wear it all day without feeling discomfort.
The hernia truss also works to support you before having hernia surgery. You can wear it for walks, jogs, and trail running.
It is affordable and easily accessible. You can buy as many as possible to use throughout your hiking trip.
You don’t need to worry about keeping a low profile about your hernia surgery because this belt isn’t noticeable under your hiking outfits.
Also, avoiding too much weight on your hiking trip would be best. Since you are just healing, you should not put too much strain on your body.
You can go on a short hiking trip with minimum weight. Then, you can go on longer trips over time.
In addition, it is best to take any drug the doctor prescribes on your hiking trip. The drugs can come in handy when you experience pain or discomfort.
You should also watch the kind of water you drink. Avoid consuming anything that will cause infection or illness.
Your body is still a little vulnerable, and any infection can compromise the recovery process from your hernia surgery.
In conclusion, you can’t go hiking with a hernia because:
- First, it worsens the hernia.
- The trip would be uncomfortable.
- Third, carrying heavy weight strains it.
It will be best to keep these points in mind before attempting to hike. However, if you intend to hike soon, it would help first to undergo hernia surgery and heal properly.
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