5 doctors weighed in:
Can belly crunches damage back or cause hernia?
5 doctors weighed in

Dr. Barry Rosen
Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: Moderation
Strengthening one's core is actually an effective treatment of back pain, so i wouldn't be too concerned.
As far as the hernia issue....Crunches shouldn't cause a hernia but they can certainly worsen an existing one. If you do have a hernia and it is interfering with your quality of life, you should be seen by a hernia surgeon for a formal evaluation. Good luck!

In brief: Moderation
Strengthening one's core is actually an effective treatment of back pain, so i wouldn't be too concerned.
As far as the hernia issue....Crunches shouldn't cause a hernia but they can certainly worsen an existing one. If you do have a hernia and it is interfering with your quality of life, you should be seen by a hernia surgeon for a formal evaluation. Good luck!
Dr. Barry Rosen
Dr. Barry Rosen
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Dr. David Lemme
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: Doubtful.
When you do crunches it helps to flatten the lower back against the floor, so the abdominal muscles are doing the work and not straining the lower back muscles.
It would be very unlikely for a hernia to be caused by doing crunches. If there were a hernia already, it could bulge with the increase in intra-abdominal pressure caused by bearing down during the crunches.

In brief: Doubtful.
When you do crunches it helps to flatten the lower back against the floor, so the abdominal muscles are doing the work and not straining the lower back muscles.
It would be very unlikely for a hernia to be caused by doing crunches. If there were a hernia already, it could bulge with the increase in intra-abdominal pressure caused by bearing down during the crunches.
Dr. David Lemme
Dr. David Lemme
Thank
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