General Question

arches140's avatar

What causes side-aches when running?

Asked by arches140 (72points) March 20th, 2011

I took a jog this morning, but I haven’t ran for about three years. After being on the track for only a few minutes I felt side-aches. I know it’s from being out of shape, but I was wondering what exactly is happening?

Is there a way to prevent it, possibly drinking more water or stretching a specific way?

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12 Answers

Randy's avatar

It’s called a side stitch.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

When did you last get new shoes? Pounding on pavement / sidewalks on old shoes can give you side pains.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I ran for over a decade when younger and many times it was intestinal gas that got shifted around. Serious.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I always thought it was a lack of oxygen or something like that.

Adagio's avatar

@Randy I have always known it as the stitch… as to why it happens, I have absolutely no idea.

ragingloli's avatar

I think it was wrong breathing. They say, you have to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth with a regular pace.

arches140's avatar

@Tropical_Willie that could be it as well! My sneakers are definitely old, so I guess this might be a good excuse to go out and get some new ones. :) thanks

Anna_banana's avatar

Lol I was told it was the “losing weight part” but I doubt it.

DavidMetcalfe's avatar

Typicall a side stitch, as Randy pointed out. Novice runners are typically advised to take up a 3:2 breathing rhythm, whereas elite runners usually do 2:2.

gondwanalon's avatar

I used to get side stitches when I first started running 3 decades ago. I found some relief from a stitch by pushing pressure onto the stitch area with my hand. This would decrease the pain and even make the pain go away completely sometimes. As you get more physically fit the stitches should go away or become a rare occurrence.

The cause of a side stitch is likely due to your guts adjusting to low oxygen flow as your blood is shunted away from your guts to accommodate the sudden high oxygen demands of your skeletal muscles.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Running in old sneakers will give you shin splints, where the front of your lower legs will hurt, sometimes for several days. Heat and ibuprofen help shin splints. Side stitches can be walked out in a matter of minutes.

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