Any lump on the body can be a cause of concern and should be checked by a health care professional. One of the causes of a lump in the groin, near an incision, on the thigh, or in the belly button area is a hernia. Other causes can be swollen lymph nodes or a cyst.

A hernia is formed when there is a break or weakness in the strong layer between the abdominal wall and the muscle (fascia). This causes a sac to develop in the lining, creating a bulge or lump.

There are 5 main types of hernias; some of them can be present at birth.

5 Types Of Hernias

The groin area is not the only place that you will find a lump that could be a hernia, some babies and toddlers have a lump around the belly button area. Hernias also can be found on the thigh. These are types of hernias:

  • Inguinal – This type of hernia may resemble a swollen lymph node in the groin area. The bulge may go into the scrotum.
  • Hiatal – With this hernia, it is the one that most people are familiar with. It occurs on the upper portion of the stomach.
  • Umbilical – Causing a lump in the belly button area, this type is seen in infants and may or may not be noticeable at birth.
  • Femoral – It causes a lump to form on the upper part of the thigh.
  • Incision – This one occurs near a current or old incision in the abnormal wall.

The Femoral type is more common in women, and the inguinal type is more common in men.

Learn About – Inguinal (Groin) Lymph Nodes

What Are The Causes

Some hernias are present at birth, but there is no lump that is evident until adulthood. Some people may have a family history of hernias and may be more susceptible to them. Activities that can cause one include the following:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Smoking
  • Overexertion
  • Extended crying

Health conditions that can cause a hernia include the following:

  • Chronic straining during bowel movements
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic cough
  • Obesity
  • Malnutrition
  • Undescended testicle
  • Enlarged prostate that causes straining during urination
  • Chronic pain in a child that leads to crying

Some hernias can be prevented by using the upper body for lifting, maintain a healthy weight, avoid constipation, pain relief, and having related health issues treated.

Learn About – Groin Swollen Lymph Nodes

Understanding The Symptoms

One of the first symptoms of a hernia may be pain and one of the first signs will be a lump. Pain that increases during exertion, staining, or lifting can be caused by a hernia. Often they have no symptoms, which is why they often go undiagnosed.

Strangulated Hernia

When there is severe pain it may be a symptom of a strangulated hernia, which will require immediate care and surgery. This occurs when the tissue becomes lodged in the hole and the blood supply stops. (Strangulated Hernia – It is a serious condition.


A Hernia may be left to heal on its own and monitored or it may need surgery. Only a health care professional can determine the best treatment for a specific type of hernia.