Side stitches are a pain, no pun intended. Side stitches, which is also known as exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP) is caused by stretching the ligaments which extend from the diaphragm to the internal organs, expecially the liver. The movement of running while you breathe in and out cause the ligaments to stretch.
Check out the recommendations from Les Whitley (personal trainer) and Howcast.com on how to overcome them.
Video 1: Les Whitley’s recommendations
1) Relax your breathing, take deep breaths – don’t shallow your breathing.
2) Proper nutrition
3) Prepare yourself well, listen to your body, train smart.
Video 2: Howcast.com’s recommendations
1) Avoid eating a big meal before workout
2) Practise deep breathing
3) Strengthen abs muscles (DOn’t do sit ups. Do crunches only)
4) Change breathing pattern
5) Stop and rest.
As mentioned above, side stitches, which is also known as exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP) is caused by stretching the ligaments which extend from the diaphragm to the internal organs, expecially the liver. The movement of running while you breathe in and out cause the ligaments to stretch.
It is believed that spasms in the diaphragm are caused by repeated stretching of the ligaments. Research have shown that runners tend to breathe out every 2 or 4 steps. Those who exhale when their right foot hits the ground were found that they are more prone to get side stitches. The impact of the right foot also creates greater ‘impact’ on the liver, which is located below the rib cage, on the right side. The liver is drops down when the diaphragm raises for the exhalation of air.
How to stop a side stitch?
- The best thing to do is to stop running and use your hand to push your hand into the right side of your stomach and then push it upwards – this will lift your liver by a bit. As you’re pushing, breathe in and out deeply.
How to prevent a Side Stitch.
- Take even deep breaths while running.
- If you take shallow breaths, it will increase the risk of cramping as the diaphragm is always slightly raised. It never lowers far enough.
- Do not eat 1 or 2 hours before workout – if you do, you’ll just create more force on the ligaments
- Do side stretches – it can prevent or prevent or relieve a cramp. Raise your right arm straight up and lean toward the left. Hold for 15 seconds, then stretch the other side.
- There’s higher chances of getting side stitch if you’re dehydrated. Drink lots of water before exercise.
- Stretch the diaphragm – by breathing deeply. You can also bend forward to stretch it and lessen the pain.
- Slow your pace down.
Written by Sharm