Why Do Doctors Say Turn Your Head and Cough?


Quick Answer

Doctors ask patients to turn their head and cough when they are looking for the presence of hernias; the slight stretching of the abdominal wall combined with the increased pressure caused by coughing increases the chance of feeling a hernia. According to WebMD, the most common hernia type is inguinal.

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Why Do Doctors Say Turn Your Head and Cough?
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Full Answer

Mayo Clinic defines a hernia as a piece of soft tissue that protrudes through a defect in the abdominal muscles. Inguinal hernias are the most common type, accounting for about two thirds of all hernias, and are the main hernia a doctor looks for while pressing a hand onto a patient's groin and asking him to turn his head and cough. Hernias may be a simple bulge, either noticed or unnoticed by the patient, or be painful or uncomfortable. Surgical repair is usually recommended.

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