Side Stitch Pain

by Paschalis

How do you avoid the debilitating side stitch? Eating bananas aside (which didn't work) how do you get to the point that you can run without this pain?

I have avoided running my entire life because I have ALWAYS got a side stitch, every single time I have tried running.

Every time.

Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thank you for your question about the terrible side stitch.

The reason for side stitches is diaphragm muscle spams.

The diaphragm gets pushed and pulled about within your body.
The diaphragm gets pushed downwards by the lungs when they fill with air, the diaphragm rises again when you exhale.
Likewise jhe liver, a bigger organ, situated on the right hand side of your body, will pull the diaphragm down when your right foot hits the ground.

Still with me?

Now, suppose you exhale (diaphragm rising) at the same time your right foot hits the ground (pull diaphragm down), then this stretches the diaphragm. Do this often enough and the little bastard starts protesting and causing you pain.

So, try to consider your breathing pattern. Try to establish a pattern in which you have longer deep breaths at the right time.

What may also help is building a strong core. Do exercises that train your back, abs and oblique muscles. This will not only be good for your side stitch troubles. A strong core helps you maintain the right posture as you run and will help you prevent a range of running injuries.

I don't know exactly where the banana-story comes from, I wouldn't recommend running on a full stomach, nor an empty stomach. The best thing is to keep a few hours in between eating and running, giving your tummy time to settle down.

Hope this helps a little bit.
I hope you give running a try, do not let a side stitch stop you in your tracks!

Kind regards,

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