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Treating Side Stitches or Side Cramps

Side Cramps or Side Stitches During Exercise Exertion

Side cramps or side stitches are otherwise known as exercise-related transient abdominal internal pain is a phenomenon that occurs during exercise exertion and is poorly researched. Pain typically is found just on the right side under the rib cage. However, the pain from side stitches can also occur over the shoulder or at the tip of the shoulder blade.

side stitches

This problem is not well understood. One theory is that abdominal organs ligaments pull on the diaphragm causing pain. A common problem for swimmers and particularly new runners. Eating food before a workout may contribute to this condition. However, cyclists are known to ingest a considerable amount of food and liquids during intense training without experiencing a problem.

Drinks High in Carbohydrate Concentration

Research has shown that ingesting juices and other drinks high in carbohydrate concentration before and during training are associated with the development of a side cramp or side stitch. Also while running and exhaling when the right foot strikes the ground has also believed to be tied to this condition. The diaphragm hikes up during exhalation and the liver falls a little as the right foot hits the pavement. It is believed that the bouncing movement of the internal organs and diaphragm creates the spasm.

Alter Breathing Patterns When the Cramp Develops

In treating side stitches or cramps, it is recommended to alter breathing patterns when the pain develops; exhaling when the opposite leg from the cramp strikes the pavement. Other suggestions in preventing cramps are to practice belly breathing by laying on your back and place a heavy book on your stomach. The book should rise as you breathe and lower as you exhale to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Continue this pattern while you are standing, being mindful of posture. Avoid drinking any fruit juices and sweetened beverages before physical activity.

Pay Special Attention to The Warm Up

Certified personal trainers recommend paying special attention with the warm up. Start at a slower pace, adjusting your running stride, increase intensity gradually, steadily improving your cardiovascular fitness. Following this protocol should result in getting side stitches less frequently.

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