Usually, there is no obvious cause of a hernia. The wall of the abdomen has several functions, and one is to provide support to the internal organs which push outward and create pressure against the abdominal wall. There are several natural weaknesses in this wall. The opening of a gap in tissue in these areas can occur on its own or it can happen if the tissue gets stretched. Activities, including the following, can put increased pressure on the abdominal wall and may cause a hernia:
- Straining to have a bowel movement
- Chronic coughing
- Straining to urinate
- Heavy lifting
However, a hernia can also be caused by a simple sneeze.