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Health & Fit 5 ways to prevent side stitches and cramps when running, according to physical therapists

18:56  25 november  2020
18:56  25 november  2020 Source:   msn.com

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5 Ways to Stop and Prevent Side Stitches During Runs . Those cramps racking your stomach and knotting the muscles between your ribs are actually spasms in your diaphragm—a huge, dome-shaped sheet of muscle at the bottom of your ribcage.

Do you suffer from side stitches ? Check out our 12 tips to prevent them or get rid of them when they happen. Through shocks while running , the internal organs move with every step, as does the diaphragm when we breathe in and out – this creates tension in the body and cramps can occur in

a woman wearing a purple shirt: Side stitches are acute cramping or pain in the abdominal area that often occurs during physical activity. Suriyawut Suriya/Getty Images © Suriyawut Suriya/Getty Images Side stitches are acute cramping or pain in the abdominal area that often occurs during physical activity. Suriyawut Suriya/Getty Images
  • Your side might hurt when running because you have poor posture, are dehydrated, or overexerting yourself.
  • To get rid of side stitches, you can practice deep breathing and slow down your running pace.
  • To prevent side stitches, you should also warm-up before working out, strengthen your core muscles, and stay hydrated.
  • Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.

Have you ever suddenly felt a sharp pain around your abdomen during a run? If so, you've experienced a side stitch. Side stitches can occur as a result of dehydration or overexerting yourself.

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Related Blogs. chevron_right. 9 Ways to Prevent Side Stitches when Running . Luckily there are several strategies that you can implement mid- run to alleviate cramps , as well as steps to take before hitting the pavement to prevent them from happening at all.

Nothing ruins a run quite like an untimely leg or stomach cramp . But, there are a few ways to prevent cramps from happening. When your body isn't given enough electrolytes it can cause muscle weakness and excessive contraction and cramping of muscles, according to Medical Daily News.

While not dangerous, they are painful and can cut your run short.  Here's what causes side stitches and five tips to prevent them from occurring.

What are side stitches?

Side stitches — also known as exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP) — are acute cramping or pain in the abdominal area that often occurs during physical activity, such as running or swimming. In 2014, 70% of runners experienced side stitches.

There are various reasons side stitches may occur. "It is thought to be related to improper training, dehydration, incorrect breathing, weak core or pelvic floor muscles, or eating too much before activity," says Sara Mikulsky, MD, a physical therapist and owner of Wellness Physical Therapy, PLLC in New York City. "More often side stitches will occur in a novice runner or athlete, but experienced athletes can also get this cramping."

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A side stitch tends to be localized, lateral, and mostly sharp. This is more consistent with pain from Other answers have covered ways to prevent side stitches . I’ve found the following methods to be A side stitch is simply a muscle cramp in the diaphragm. To make it go away you have to relax the

Runners Connect » » Injury Prevention The Causes of Side Stitches and How This Helps You How to Prevent a Side Stitch . Unfortunately, the cause (or causes) of side stitches have yet to be If you have chronic side stitches , it may be worth having a physical therapist or chiropractor examine your

What causes side stitches?

While the exact cause of side stitches is unknown, the type of exercise a person does can affect their chances of developing them.

"Athletes that engage in activities that involve having their torso upright, such as horseback riding, swimming, and usually running, may be more affected," says Samantha DuFlo, MD, a physical therapist and founder of Indigo Physiotherapy in Baltimore, Maryland.

In a 2000 study of people across six sports, athletes participating in swimming (75%), running (69%), and horseback riding (62%) were most likely to report having experienced a side stitch in the past year. Researchers attributed the prevalence of side stitches in these sports to the repetitive torso movement.

Other reasons you may experience side stitches include:

Poor posture and weak core muscles. "If the muscles in the core or pelvic floor area are weak, they cannot stabilize against the increased movement of the body," says Mikulsky. This can potentially affect the body's ability to use oxygen and expel carbon dioxide efficiently. It may also cause internal organs to move around a bit more than usual.

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Side stitches , especially on the left side , are a common problem for runners . Learn how to prevent this pain and how to relieve it when it strikes. Studies show that people describe ETAP in different ways : sharp or stabbing, if severe, or like a muscle cramp or pulling sensation when less intense.

Basically, a side stitch is a cramp in the muscle that controls breathing, says Sabrina Strickland, MD, a sports medicine doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Side stitches are a literal pain to deal, but they're not the end of the world, and there are actually a few ways you can prevent them.

Eating a big meal or being dehydrated. Eating a heavy meal within a couple of hours before working out can lead to additional cramps and side stitches, says Jaclyn Fulop, a physical therapist and the founder of Exchange Physical Therapy Group in northern New Jersey.

In a 2005 study, runners who ate a large amount of food within one to two hours before exercising had a higher frequency of side stitches. Not drinking enough water before engaging in physical activity may also lead to muscle cramping, says Mikulsky.

Overexertion. Pushing yourself too hard without warming up or strengthening your muscles can also lead to side stitches.

"Just as in strength training, it takes time for the body to adjust to new demands on its organs and systems," says Mikulsky. "When we increase aerobic activity such as running, the body will need to learn to allocate oxygen and blood flow to different areas. If increases in activity occur too quickly, the body may not be able to handle the demand."

5 tips to prevent side stitches

While not dangerous, side stitches can be painful and cumbersome. Before beginning any physical activity, there are various steps you can take to prevent side stitches.

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1. Warm-up before working out

Instead of immediately beginning your workout, allow your body to adjust to exercise.

"Warming up with pre-run activation drills and stretching benefits your body by increasing blood flow to the areas your body will want it," says DuFlo. It will also prepare your muscles and nervous system to engage in exercise.

2. Slowly increase your activity

Instead of going from zero to 100, slowly increase your level of exertion. Mikulsky says to follow the commonly used 10% rule: Don't increase your activity level by more than 10% a week. This pace can give your body time to adjust and lower your risk of pain.

3. Practice breathing exercises

Deep breathing both before and during exercise can help prevent side stitches. "Learning how to breathe properly through the belly and not relying on accessory breathing muscles [like the spinal and neck muscles] is important," says Fulop.

A 2009 report found deep breathing to be one of the most effective ways to relieve side cramps. Forty percent of athletes who experience side stitches use deep breathing to treat them.

4. Strengthen your core and pelvic floor

Focus on strength training, especially your core muscles. Building your core improves posture and stability during a workout, decreasing the chance of side stitches, says Mikulsky. On top of that, "keeping a strong core will allow for more efficient expansion of the chest allowing more oxygen to flow into the lungs."

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5. Eat a light meal and stay hydrated

"Avoiding large, heavy meals that are full of fatty or fried food before physical activity can help decrease the chance of side stitches," says Mikulsky. "Eating a meal such as this is more difficult for the body to digest and requires more blood flow and organ functioning."

Opting instead for a lighter, healthier meal, like oatmeal and berries, can make it easier for the body to digest and fuel your workout. Also, remember to drink water during and after your workout.

Insider's takeaway

Side stitches are common amongst runners and can occur due to factors such as overexertion, weak core muscles, and dehydration. To prevent them, you should eat a smaller, healthy meal before exercising, remember to stretch and warm-up, and practice breathing exercises.

Related articles from Health Reference:

  • 6 ways to run longer and a 5k training plan to help you build endurance
  • 7 ways to run faster, according to expert running coaches
  • What muscles running works — and how to prevent injury in them
  • 9 tips to run properly, and why your running form matters
  • How to get rid of shin splints and prevent them in the future, according to sports medicine experts
Read the original article on Insider

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