Stitches-avoiding them

Nacnud

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Sometimes I get this thing called a 'stitch' when running.

These things are an absolute pain in the arse!

In case you don't know what these are, i'll explain. Sometimes, as you run, a sharp pain might occur in your lower abdomen, below your stomach and liver. It hurts a lot, especially if you choose to ignore it like i did this morning and keep running. The reason why this injury occurs has nothing to do with your aerobic fitness at all, or the amount of oxygen you inhale. In fact, very fit healthy olympic standard runners even get these from time to time.

Its all to do with your abdominal (belly) muscles. As you run, your liver, stomach, and lungs are moving up...down...up...down. Because your diaphragm is directly below these organs, it takes the brunt. Your organs are effectively treating your diaphragm like a trampoline. They bounce off your diaphragm, then gravity makes it go back down... then it bounces off again, and keeps going. This is strenuous on the diaphragm, and, depending on your abdominal muscle strength, it starts to ache and hurt in a some time.

This pain is one of the symptoms of a stitch.

Of course, you can grit your teeth and choose to ignore the pain like I did earlier. But it won't go away until you stop. It is not something that needs a little time as you get used to the pace you are running at. It will stay with you until you stop. Also, if you really keep at it, your diaphragm could potentially rip I suppose, and I don't really need to tell you how much that would hurt.

The solution:

Get a six pack. Make your belly muscles very strong. Your belly muscles are what keeps your diaphragm rigid and actually hold those organs above it in place. Make the muscles stronger, and your diaphragm will be able to take more beating and abuse from the weight of the organs above it. So, in other words, do lots and lots of sit ups. This probably why the sit ups are so important, imagine getting a stitch before the 3 miler or endurance march!

Remember, sit ups + a healthy, nutritious diet + time = strong abdominal muscles.

Also, eating a lot before running will add weight to your stomach, and make it bigger as well. This will only make the stitch come faster!

Good luck, and hopefully this advice will come in handy for some!
 

JMH

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Deadlifts and weighted squats are good for developing the abdominal muscles too. good post, i hate getting stitches, rarely get them, only when i've eaten too much pre-workout.
 

gedro

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For me, stiches come when i've not worked my diaphram muscle much, ie when i've not done any cardio in a few weeks, i always find after the first few runs, it never comes back. Would be bad if it tore, you wouldn't be able to breath!
 
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The fitter you get the less you get them I find. Rarely get them now.
Although got 2 at once on one run. That was not fun.
 

MrSkippy

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...my stitches fade away when I'm running.

Yea same, get them about 1.5 mile mark, by 2 miles they have gone.. this is jogging, if i run i dont get them / notice them.. weird eh?
 

Ghod70

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Those who exhale when their right foot strikes tend to be most at risk of developing a side stitch. As the liver is dropping secondary to the force of the right foot hitting the ground, the diaphragm is simultaneously rising with exhalation. The result may be excess stress on the ligaments, causing more pain. By modifying your technique to exhale when the left foot strikes the ground you may be able to prevent the stitch.
from http://www.triathletemag.com/Departments/Training/2007/Ask_the_Tri_Doc__Dealing_with_a_side_stitch.htm
 
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Sotiris

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I also find that the more I run the less I get them. If I haven't run for a week for whatever reason I'm more prone to them. During the peak of my training I don't get them at all.

Haha I hope this holds for POC.
 

ChrisL

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Sometimes I get this thing called a 'stitch' when running.

These things are an absolute pain in the arse!

In case you don't know what these are, i'll explain. Sometimes, as you run, a sharp pain might occur in your lower abdomen, below your stomach and liver. It hurts a lot, especially if you choose to ignore it like i did this morning and keep running. The reason why this injury occurs has nothing to do with your aerobic fitness at all, or the amount of oxygen you inhale. In fact, very fit healthy olympic standard runners even get these from time to time.

Its all to do with your abdominal (belly) muscles. As you run, your liver, stomach, and lungs are moving up...down...up...down. Because your diaphragm is directly below these organs, it takes the brunt. Your organs are effectively treating your diaphragm like a trampoline. They bounce off your diaphragm, then gravity makes it go back down... then it bounces off again, and keeps going. This is strenuous on the diaphragm, and, depending on your abdominal muscle strength, it starts to ache and hurt in a some time.

This pain is one of the symptoms of a stitch.

Of course, you can grit your teeth and choose to ignore the pain like I did earlier. But it won't go away until you stop. It is not something that needs a little time as you get used to the pace you are running at. It will stay with you until you stop. Also, if you really keep at it, your diaphragm could potentially rip I suppose, and I don't really need to tell you how much that would hurt.

The solution:

Get a six pack. Make your belly muscles very strong. Your belly muscles are what keeps your diaphragm rigid and actually hold those organs above it in place. Make the muscles stronger, and your diaphragm will be able to take more beating and abuse from the weight of the organs above it. So, in other words, do lots and lots of sit ups. This probably why the sit ups are so important, imagine getting a stitch before the 3 miler or endurance march!

Remember, sit ups + a healthy, nutritious diet + time = strong abdominal muscles.

Also, eating a lot before running will add weight to your stomach, and make it bigger as well. This will only make the stitch come faster!

Good luck, and hopefully this advice will come in handy for some!


Just to let you all know but i dont mean to insult what you know about a stitch but...a stitch starts when the 2 linings in ya stomach touches because fluids that keep them apart arnt there!......This happens when u over eat are undereat id draw u a diagram but i cant on here! theres alot more init than what have have explained but thats the easiest way to explain..... Also getting a 6pack wont stop this..and also guys doing sit ups wont get you a 6pak! If u wana c a 6pak get *text deleted* body fat down to 4% as the pak is there anywayz
 

Commando Kennedy

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tbf when im running and i get a stitch i grit my teeth n push through it and it does go away..best thing 2 do *text deleted* at lympstone i cant see 1 of the PTIs sayin "oh come on now dear take 5" *text deleted*
 
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MTW

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run through them simple as, ive only even had 1 really bad one that didnt go away for 3-4 miles, but they arnt painfull enough to stop you.
 

reid81

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i used to get them faintly on my left side, very rarely.
since startin this training i get them on my right???
 

Mack15

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One thing that helps me is to pace my breathing and breath propperly.
 
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