Hi Frog. Don't be too discouraged. I have had two hernias. Both down south and on the right side of the body. The first came when I was doing a lot of pulling off the floor, in conjunction with my job at the time, which was laying and reeling up heavycable into and out of the sea. yes, we winched it, but 2 bodies were still required to direct the cable off and onto the spool. To make a long story short, after the first fix (mesh, after an incision, was put into place) I asked the Doc when I could return to training, and he said never. So I went right into heavy pulls just to prove him wrong, and two weeks later I had another, got it repaired. This time, I inched back into it. Did a lot of core work, similar to what standAPART lists in his article in the visitors section about TVA and gravity, , went back into the pulls, and gradually increased weight, and have had no problems since. That was 1992. One word about belts.When I got the hernia, I was using a belt forn DL's. I cinched the thing up TIGHT. Let me tell you, that is wrong When you get down into the bottom squat or DL mpoiion, the mechanics of your bodytend to push out the abdomen. With a tight belt on, it leaes nowhere for the pressure to go other than down into the left or right lower quadrant, meaning a hernia is waiting to happen. A good rule of thumb for belts is what I got from a good PL type.Stand erect, put the belt on snugly, and make sure you can get two fingers into it between your belt and body.
Good luck Deadfrog, but do yourself a favor, if there are any questions on whether or not you have one, see a doctor.