General Question

aviona's avatar

Techniques for getting rid of side stiches?

Asked by aviona (3242points) May 6th, 2009

I have been plagued with side stiches while running for as long as I can remember. They subsided for while during my time on the cross country team in high school, but, alas, they have returned.

They happen even when I don’t eat hours before running. They are so painful that I often have to stop mid-run, which totally sucks. Any have any luck with remedying these awful things?

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13 Answers

exitnirvana's avatar

When I was running track I’d get them a lot as well, usually at the most inconvenient times. I’d push through them during races, but as soon as it was over, if they hadn’t subsided, I’d just stretch them out. That was the only thing I really found effective. And like you, I avoided food (completely on meet days) and high intakes of water, just enough to keep hydrated, and continuously stretched.

augustlan's avatar

I seem to remember drinking milk helped with those awful things when I was a kid.
Note: I was a kid a long time ago, and I could be completely wrong!

chicadelplaya's avatar

@aviona- How old are you ( if you don’t mind me asking ). I remember occasionally experiencing the same thing when I was in my late teens while playing a variety of sports. I still run (now I’m 36) and haven’t had that experience since my early 20’s. Are there any men out there who have experienced a similar thing while running? Wondering if it could be related to hormones?

aviona's avatar

@exitnirvana :: Sometimes I am able to push through them and they go away, but recently they’ve been so too unbearably painful!

@augustlan :: Hm. Interesting. For some reason it seems like drinking milk would aggravate them more. I’m not sure why. I don’t eat much dairy, so maybe I just have a natural aversion.

@chicadelplaya :: I recently turned 20. I’ve been getting them really bad since I was about 13. They subsided some during high school (ages 14–17), but not completely. That may have just been because I was running so frequently during cross country season.

sandystrachan's avatar

I knew this site would come in handy at some point .!
Scroll to number 10 for side stitches .

aviona's avatar

@sandystrachan—So random! I’ll have to try that, although I’m not sure if I’m coordinated enough!

sandystrachan's avatar

@aviona I am a random kind of person . Hope it helps anyway .

3or4monsters's avatar

Holy shit, I’ve been landing left foot first my entire life. I never thought about it until now.

robmandu's avatar

@aviona and @sandystrachan, I’m a fan of the Exhale-on-the-Left-Foot technique.

I’m not sure if it works because of the way they say it does… or if my continued concentration on timing and breathing provides a distraction.

Either way, if I feel a stitch coming on, I start it and have found that the stitch doesn’t grow as painful and eventually fades away.

It’s great to be able to do something about it… and not hafta give up and walk it off.

Judi's avatar

Yoga before or after running?

robmandu's avatar

Oh yah, this article about how running shoes are bad for you explains some of the kinds of injuries you might – or might not – expect from running shoes.

It also mentions briefly that stretching before/after can also cause injury.

In short, we’ve all been doing wrong ever since Nike invented the running shoe. :-\

aviona's avatar

@robmandu I could see that being more true for knee-related injuries or shin splits, but not really side-stitches. And I l ♥ my Brooks! We’ve had so many good times together and they’ve prevented me from the shin splints that I am so prone to.

Interesting, nonetheless, and will read.

The main photo of the two people running is hilarious!

bright_eyes00's avatar

when i run and my side starts to hurt i try exhaling when the foot that is on that side hits the ground. kind of like pain in my ribs on the right so when i step with my right foot i will exhale sharply and when i step with my left i will inhale sharply. works to get me to a point where either the pain subsides or it becomes tolerable and eventually stops.

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