Hiatal hernias are a type of hernia that affects the diaphragm. A hernia is a word for what happens when the intestines push through some of the muscles or ligaments surrounding the abdominal cavity. You can be born with a hernia or you can acquire a hernia after birth during any phase of life. Sometimes the cause is unknown but often a hernia is caused by increased internal pressure from lifting or straining. This can happen during sports activities, exercise, work activity, or sudden trauma. Symptoms involving a hiatal hernia may include heartburn, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and indigestion. Often hernias can be associated with weight gain and stress. Other types of hernias include:
Chiropractic treatment for a hiatal hernia involves adjustments to the thoracic spine and rib cage to relax the diaphragm along with a special form of massage that loosens the hernia from its location. This usually involves a gentle pulling down in the stomach area. Home care should include exercises that encourage the hernia to release from the diaphragm.