Conditions That Could Be Mistaken for a Hernia

Hernia Info Authors

Hernias are a very common medical condition that occur when an organ or fatty tissue bulges through a weak spot in the muscle wall or fascia (the thin lining of connective tissue surrounding most parts of the body) containing it.1 Every year, over 5 million people are diagnosed with a hernia.2

Common Hernia Symptoms

Common symptoms of a hernia may include:3

  • A feeling of fullness or constipation
  • Weakness and pressure around a sensitive area
  • A bulge or lump that does not go away
  • A tugging and burning aching sensation

See Hernia Signs and Symptoms Checklist →

Conditions and Symptoms Similar to Hernia

However, these symptoms can be caused by a variety of other factors and conditions, including, but not limited to:

  • Muscular Strain: Discomfort that is usually localized to the affected muscle; tends to improve with rest and over-the-counter pain reliever.4
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: Presence of digestive symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux, or altered bowel movements; may cause pain, cramping, discomfort.4
  • Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix; may cause tenderness in the lower right abdomen with a sudden increase to strong, intense pain.4
  • Kidney Stones: Hard mineral and salt deposits that form in the kidneys; may cause severe pain and urinary symptoms like frequent urination or blood in the urine.4
  • Ovarian Issues: Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) or torsion (twisting of an ovary); may cause lower abdominal pain and a feeling of fullness.4
  • Lipoma: Benign growth of fatty tissue under the skin; may cause a visible lump and isn’t typically painful.5
  • Hydrocele: Buildup of fluid around the testicle; may cause swelling and discomfort.5
  • Varicocele: Swelling of the veins in the scrotum; may cause discomfort and a visible bulge.5
  • Enlarged Lymph Nodes (Groin): May cause swelling and discomfort in the groin area.5

Be Sure to Consult a Doctor

Any pain is worth a visit to your healthcare provider. It’s important to have a healthcare provider diagnose whether that pain is hernia-related or due to a condition that can be mistaken for a hernia. If you experience increased discomfort/pain, fever, nausea and vomiting, seek medical attention right away.

Hernia Pain: Know When to See a Doctor →



The guidance provided in this article follows general rules that should be discussed with your doctor. This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not substitute for medical advice. If in doubt, always consult your doctor.

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