Side stitches are sharp pains that occur right under the ribcage area. A side stitch will oftentimes happen very suddenly, and result in us holding our sides in a lot of pain. Most commonly, side stiches are caused by a muscle spasm in the diaphragm, and usually occur during intense bouts of swimming or side cramps while running.
Unfortunately, there is no definite consensus pertaining to the cause (although some people believe it is diet related and side cramps while running) of side stitches. However, there are a few ways to help prepare the diaphragm before exercise, which will greatly reduce the chances of an occurrence.
How to avoid side cramps while running
- Take deep breaths: A side stich is like to occur from shallow breathing. When you exercise, try to take deeper breaths and ensure you are not holding your breaths in for too long. Some runners have also found that side cramps while running can be fine if and it will be beneficial to exhale through pursed lips during an intense run.
- Take It Slow: Ramping up your intensity quickly can easily cause you to slip into a rhythm of short and shallow breaths, resulting in a side stitch. Try to gradually increase the intensity in accordance with your overall fitness level.
- Develop a stronger core: Having strong abdominal muscles can be beneficial in preventing side stitches or side cramps while running. If you are not a fan of crunches, consider doing something fun like pilates a few times a week.
- Plan your meals: You will often find that exercising on a full stomach is likely to cause side stiches and side cramps while running. Additionally, consuming high sugar beverages during your workout can bring about a side stitch. Practice a low sugar diet with frequent smaller meals throughout the day.
Although they can be painful, side stiches are not serious and relief will generally come pretty quickly. To speed up the recovery process, its best to slow down your exercise routine and side cramps while running and stretch do a quick lean stretch by leaning away from the effected side. Try massaging the area too, as this can help free up fascia and relax the muscle a bit of side cramps while running.
should be a fun way to stay in shape. Don’t let pain get in the way of your fitness goals. However, one thing to note is that sometimes you can experience pain in the side that also radiates down your arm and can be side cramps while running. This is a sign that something else is wrong, and you should immediately stop your exercise and consult with trainer.