side stitch

Get Rid of a Side Stitch Naturally

A side stitch, also known as an exercise related transient abdominal pain or ETAP happens frequently to those who participant in sports and forms of exercise that involve lots of running. The majority of runners suffer from a side stitch, and it is a mild sports injury though not considered a severe one. It is characterized by a sharp, intense stabbing pain beneath the ribcage on both sides of the body, though it is most frequently felt on the right side. A side stitch occurs because of vigorous exercise and activity, especially things like running or jumping. They are most frequent in novice or amateur athletes as older, more advanced athletes have learned how to stretch and prevent them.

A side stitch happens with the diaphragm muscle spasms because the organs attached to it suddenly pull it downwards while you exhale. The opposite force of those two motions stretches the muscle and causes it to cramp or spasm which, in turn, causes the intense and sudden pain of the side stretch.

While many athletic coaches may attempt to convince you to run through the pain, if you are at all able to stop you should do so to give your body a chance to stop cramping and to prevent more severe injury. If you cannot because you are in the midst of a race or other athletic event, the best thing to do is try to change up your breathing to avoid making things worse. Preventing and curing a side stitch is a matter of stretching properly, exercising regularly so your body is used to intense physical activity, common sense reminding you to warm up and give your body a chance to adapt, and stopping when it occurs to prevent further injury. It is not a life-threatening injury, but it can be a painful one.

How do I prevent a Side Stitch?

  • Exercise regularly
  • Concentrate on breathing deeply while you exercise
  • Warm up properly before beginning any exercise routine
  • Gradually increase intensity when exercising, don’t start out at the top.
  • Avoid eating immediately before any exercising
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Strengthen your core muscles
  • Stretch before you start and stretch properly
  • Don’t run in extreme cold temperatures
  • Make sure you keep your electrolytes balanced.

What are the symptoms of a Side Stitch?

  • Temporary stabbing pain in the side
  • Pain that subsides almost immediately after you cease running or walking.

How Do I get rid of a Side Stitch?

  • Push your fingers gently into your side where you feel the pain.
  • Change your breathing pattern.
  • Take in a sharp breath, hold it, then force it out.
  • Change your running and breathing stride.
  • Stop walking or running and give your side a few seconds of deep breathing before continuing.
  • Take deep, full-lung breaths.
  • Don’t start out as fast as you can, give yourself about ten minutes to warm up.
  • Purse your lips while you breathe. This helps remind you to breathe in and out of your mouth.
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