The medical definition of a hernia is "when part of an internal organ or tissue bulges through a weak area of muscle," according to the National Institute of Health's Medline Plus. Hernias can occur in men, women or children.
The condition occurs most frequently in the abdominal area. Improper lifting of heavy objects is a common cause of hernias, although some people are born prone to hernias because of weak abdominal muscles. Surgery is usually recommended to repair hernias, reports Medline Plus. Hernia symptoms include pain, swelling, discomfort, an abdominal bulge and an aching or dragging sensation in the abdomen, according to Mayo Clinic.