It’s A Myth: Wearing A ‘Langot’ While Weight Training Doesn’t Prevent Testicular Hernia
Just like all other advices, this was one of the strong advices given to us by our superiors, i.e. to always wear jockstraps/supporters or as known in the local gym as ‘langot’, while performing any workout. What’s the best part? Guys still wear these supporters fearing the misinformation that they’ll get hernia or Hydrocele. The myth goes like: if you don’t wear the supporter, ‘it will damage your reproductive organs’. Thanks to science, all of these are nothing but myths and fallacies.
Groin Protection For A Purpose
Now, there are a variety of protections for your private parts. There are L-Guards and then there is a ‘langot or lion cloth’ worn by wrestlers in India, primarily the ones fighting on sand; and there is the conventional supporter or jockstrap, which is worn by people of most other sports or by regular gym freaks. But the L-Guards are worn by players to protect their private parts from a grievous injury, from either a fast ball coming towards them and hitting them in the genital area, or the damage they can sustain while engaged in a grappling or fighting sport. But for rest of the people, it rarely happens. For rest of the people, your normal well-fitted underwear will do the job. They do exactly what a supporter does, i.e. keep the stuff, high & tight.
The Jockstrap’s Invention
The international jockstrap/supporter, it first came into being in the western world in the 18th century. In 1874, the Chicago sporting goods company Sharp & Smith made the very first jockstrap to provide support for the cyclists riding a bumpy ride on the streets of Boston.
Then there is the famous South Asian Langot, also called as Kaupinam, worn traditionally in India and its neighbouring nations. People in Indian subcontinent, have been wearing the langot since the Vedic times, over 5,000 years ago. All the rishis and yogis used the langot during their ascetic or yogic practices.
Does A ‘Langot’ Prevent Hernia?
The biggest myth associated with a supporter is that it prevents hernia, a myth that has been debunked medically long back. Hernia is a condition where the abdominal wall is weakened due to relatively high pressure consistently, the result of which is a protrusion of the fatty tissue through the weakly affected spot. It was thought, that since the supporters prevent excessive bouncing and heavy blows during the exercises, it greatly reduces risk of hernia. But the supporter won’t do anything in such a case. On the other hand, there are contrary beliefs like the excessive pressure the tight jockstrap puts on the testes could actually lead to testicular hernia. This may be a possibility, but again I haven’t found anything in terms of research on this.
Does A Langot Prevent Swelling Of The Scrotum?
Another myth is that getting Hydrocele, if a supporter is not used. No, this is simply a myth. There is never been any form of evidence or report proving this. Hydrocele is basically a swelling in the scrotum due to the collection of fluid in them. Scrotum is the thin sac that holds the testes. Hydrocele is commonly seen in new-born babies, and generally corrects itself automatically by age one. In case of older men and boys, hydrocele can occur due to an injury or infection within the scrotum. Hydrocele generally is not painful, but still the doctor’s intervention may be required. Back during the ancestral days, and even now in almost every tribe in the world, the men either wear nothing for the genital support, or wear a very loose lion cloth (a loincloth is a one-piece garment supported by a belt, which simply covers the genitals). Their testes are always hanging and moving freely. And, for the common observation of all of us, the tribal men run and sprint much more than any of us can do on our stupid treadmills. They run on all uneven and hard surfaces, carry heavy loads, like dead animals for long distances after hunting, jump, crawl, squat, climb, roll, play and do a number of physical activities daily, without ever worrying about hernias, or hydrocele.
So here, this is as logical as it gets!
Akshay Chopra, is a graduate of the National Defence Academy & the Air Force Academy, and a former IAF pilot. He is one of the most qualified health, fitness & nutrition consultants in the country, and an author of multiple books & ebooks. He is among the few in the country to have a background of competitive athletics, military training and bodybuilding. He is the co-founder of the Body Mechanics chain of gyms, and India’s first research based channel We R Stupid. You can check out his Youtube here
Photo: © YouTube (Main Image)
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