Getting a Stitch

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by skywalker0, May 8, 2007.

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  1. Hello all,

    I am currently training to go in the regs and im running on average 4 times a week. Problem is no matter what i do, after about a mile i get a stitch in the same place everytime. Can anyone reccomend anything to help stop this?

  2. Try leaving about 1 1/2 hours after eating before going running. Everyone has there own methods of getting rid of a stich, I used to find that once I got one if I breathed out really really hard it lessoned the effect and it eventually goes. Someone who I knew used to swear by stamping the foot on the side of the stich down a little harder as you run, personally this never worked for me but he swore by it.
  3. I was going to be sarcastic and say dont run to the same place but can see your trying hard. :twisted:

    My advice as an athletics coach is dont do too much at first and folllow instructions about not eating beforehand.

    An idea would be to do a kind of fartlek training where for instance run for 1/2 mile walk 1/2 mile a couple of times a session then build up. If you havent done much fitness before you might be pushing yourself too much to start with which can knock you back further if you get an injury.

    Aswell get on a bike and go swimming, once your bodies used to exercise running MAY get easier. :D
  4. I used to have a similar problem, i searched on the net and found it to be a side stitch (just below the right rib cage) and was recommended to concentrate on my breathing and to breath out when my left foot hits the ground. It took a few days to get used to but i have not suffered has something to do with the ligaments that extend from the diaphragm to the internal organs.

    I have copied the information from this site for you

    ( this is the website )

    Most of us experience them at one time or another. That sharp twinge of pain just below the rib cage usually on the right. It is particularly common in runners and has been known to slow some down to a walk until the pain subsides.
    Up until recently there was no clear explanation for the cause of this annoying cramp, also called exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP). Now researchers believe that the side stitch is caused by stretching the ligaments that extend from the diaphragm to the internal organs, particularly the liver. The jarring motion of running while breathing in and out stretches these ligaments. Runners tend to exhale every two or four steps. Most people exhale as the left foot hits the ground, but some people exhale when the right foot hits the ground. It is the later group who seem more prone to get side stitches.
    Exhaling when the right foot hits the ground causes greater forces on the liver (which is on the right side just below the rib cage). So just as the liver is dropping down the diaphragm raises for the exhalation. It is believed this repeated stretching leads to spasms in the diaphragm.
    Stopping a Side Stitch
    To stop a side stitch when running, stop running and place your hand into the right side of your belly and push up, lifting the liver slightly. Inhale and exhale evenly as you push up.
    Preventing a Side Stitch
    To prevent a side stitch, take even, deep breaths while running. Shallow breathing tends to increase the risk of cramping because the diaphragm is always slightly raised and never lowers far enough to allow the ligaments to relax. When this happens the diaphragm becomes stressed and a spasm or "stitch" is more likely.
    Some other ways to alleviate the pain of a side stitch include:
    Time your eating. Having food in your stomach during a workout may increase cramping by creating more force on the ligaments (avoid eating one to two hours before a workout)
    Stretching may prevent or relieve a cramp. Raise your right arm straight up and lean toward the left. Hold for 30 seconds, release, then stretch the other side.
    Slow down your pace until pain lessens.
    Breathe deep to stretch the diaphragm.
    Drink before exercise; dehydration can increase muscle cramps.
    Massage or press on the area with pain. Bend forward to stretch the diaphragm and ease the pain.
  5. I used to have the same problem, make sure you don't eat atleast 1 or 2 hours before and make sure you do an intense warm up before hand.
  6. All the above is good advice but a very easy thing to try is something that helped me a lot.

    When running along and the stitch starts then drop your arms down by your side and run with you arms hanging losely ie not up by your chest.

    Keep running at the same speed but keep your arms down.

    The stitch will go away in about a minute or two, well it always did for me.

    Give it a try next time you are out and see what happens.
  7. Thanks Holly, i will certainly give that a try as that sounds identicle to what i am getting. With regard to eating i make sure i dont run till at least 2 hours after eating.. i saw what it did to my mate half way through his mile and a half :wink: Thanks all
  8. an old sweat PTI in Germany once told me, when I was suffering badly with a stitch on a run to squeeze my hand into a fist on the same side as the body that the stitch was on and hold it for as long and as hard as I could, and the stitch would disappear, it did work but im not sure if it was mind over matter as I was too busy concentrating on something else to notice that much, maybe worth a go
  9. Thanks Steven and Spitlock.. will give those a try also.
  10. Thanks for posting this ive been suffering with the stitch on the right side for months i tryed breathing different all sorts of things, and nothing seemed to work i'm going to give this a try.
  11. No problem Hypno,

    But as i said it does take a bit getting used to when you change the way you breath lol. when i first done it i was just laughing at myself. you know when you try and get in step with someone walking and you do that little "hop" to change legs well its a bit like that with your breathing.
    (breath in in out out in) if you know what i mean lol. hard to explane in text form. 8O

    Good luck


    PS - Let me know if it works for you hypno :)
  12. Yeah i think i get what your trying to explain. I will give it a go tomorrow and let you know hopefully i can then break into the 10min mark. :)

    Just about to sign up to BritMilFit classes to help me as well.

    Anyway thanks again.
  13. My cure is to recite the alphabet backwards.It was a trick passed on to me by a pti many moons ago. It seems to work by taking your mind off the problem.
  14. Toughen up. It's supposed to hurt.