Stomach Cramps

by Brandon
(Gilbert, AZ)

Hi, I am a 26 year old guy. When I run I get cramps at random under the right side of my rib and sometimes on the top of my stomach. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
I get enough water, Powerade and pottassium.
Am I doing something wrong?
Thank you for your help.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Brandon,
Thanks for your question about your stomach cramps.
Given your stomach cramps are happening at the right hand side under the ribs (location of the liver) I think your problem has got to do with breathing and your diaphragm, rather than your diet. Though I have to mention that eating just before your run or a lot of drinking can cause stomach pains/cramps as well.

When we run, some internal organs, like your liver, your spleen and your stomach are jumping up and down. These organs are connected to your diaphragm. As you run, your internal organs pull on your diaphragm.

When you breathe in and out, your diaphragm moves downwards and upwards. When you are breathing out (diaphragm moves upwards) and a heavy organ like your liver wants to move down (pull diaphragm downwards) you can imagine some tension occurs. When you do this often enough, you get side cramps or stitches.

You can try to overcome this by changing your breathing pattern. Unconsciously or consciously you might be breathing out (diaphragm upwards) every time when your right foot hits the ground (liver downwards). Try to change that so that you breathe out when your left foot hits the ground.

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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