Most hernias do not cause too much pain and many cause no pain at all.
Most abdominal hernias appear suddenly when the abdominal muscles are strained. You may feel tenderness, a slight burning sensation, or a feeling of heaviness in the bulge. It may be possible to push the hernia back into place with gentle pressure, or the hernia may disappear by itself when you lie down.
Being able to push the hernia back is called reducing the hernia. On the other hand, some hernias cannot be pushed back into place, and are termed incarcerated or irreducible. Persistent, severe or increasing discomfort is a worrying feature and might indicate that the hernia has become “stuck” or incarcerated. This situation can progress to the development of tissue damage or even gangrene within the hernia which becomes a surgical emergency.