A side stitch is an intense stabbing abdominal pain under the lower edge of the ribcage that occurs during exercise. It is also called a side ache, side cramp, muscle stitch, or simply stitch, and the medical term is exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP).
What causes a stitch in your side when not exercising?
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.
Is a side stitch serious?
Though sometimes very painful, a side stitch is not harmful and does not require medical attention. Doctors sometimes call side stitches exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP). People who exercise have likely had a side stitch at one time or another.
What causes side stitch?
The exact cause of a side stitch is unknown. Some studies show that a movement of blood to the diaphragm or muscles during physical activity can lead to a side stitch. But other research shows that an irritation of the lining of the abdominal and pelvic cavity may be the cause.
How do you get rid of a stitch in your side?
If the pain is on your right side, raise your right hand overhead and gently bend your torso in the opposite direction of the pain until you feel a gentle stretch. When the side stitch pain begins to ease up, start walking and gradually work your way back up to a full pace run.
How do I get rid of a stitch in my ribs?
While pressing in and up, take more deep breaths. You can continue this process of pressing in and up, all around the edge of your ribs up to your sternum. You can also try stretching to relieve the cramp. Most side stitches are on the right side, so raise your right hand and lean to the left to stretch.
Why is my left side hurting so bad?
Some common causes of pain on the left side of the body include infection and injury to internal organs, muscles, or nerves. In some cases, this pain resolves on its own. However, other cases may require immediate medical intervention.
How can I stop my side from hurting?
A side stitch is also known as exercise-related transient abdominal pain, or ETAP.
What can you do to prevent a side stitch?
- Avoid eating a big meal before you exercise. …
- Limit sugary drinks. …
- Improve your posture. …
- Gradually increase the length of your workout. …
- Build up your abdominal muscle strength. …
- Stay hydrated.
How do you stop a stitch?
How to avoid a stitch
- Eating and drinking large amounts within the two hours before running has been correlated with some side-stitch pain. …
- Slowing down your breathing or adopting a deep and rhythmic breathing pattern has been found to relieve the pain. …
- Try a stretch on the run. …
- Avoid fruit juice. …
- Warm-up properly.
When should I worry about left side pain?
See your doctor or get medical help right away if you’re experiencing: sudden, severe abdominal pain. pain with fever or vomiting. signs of shock, such as cold and clammy skin, rapid breathing, lightheadedness, or weakness.
Can side stitch last days?
Some people can feel a similar pain just beneath one of their collarbones, which is likely related to nerve connections with the diaphragm. At their worst, side stitches can persist as pain or lasting tightness for several days. At their most innocuous, they can go away in a few seconds.
What does it mean when you have pain on your left side under your ribs?
Pain located under the left rib cage is typically associated with infection or inflammation in the stomach or injury to any other organs located on the left side of the body (like the heart, spleen, pancreas, lung or left kidney).
What does right side pain mean?
Common causes of right-sided abdominal pain include: Liver disease, liver cancer, or liver infection. These conditions can cause pain in the right side of your upper abdomen. Upper-right abdominal pain is usually dull and chronic.
What do side cramps mean?
Side cramps are also known to the medical world as “exercise-induced transient abdominal pain,” and they often occur because of decreased blood flow to the diaphragm. This is usually because of the increased abdominal pressures that occur while running and breathing hard.
What is runner’s stomach?
Runner’s stomach occurs when our digestive system experience a large amount of agitation from the act of running or high-endurance exercise. There are certain diet tips you can follow to avoid having an accident mid-run.
How do you get rid of a stitch fast?
Here are some tips to help you stop a side stitch in its tracks:
- Slow down. When you’re running, the goal is to keep moving. …
- Practice belly breathing. Belly breathing, aka diaphragmatic breathing, requires you to slow down and bring focus to your breath. …
- Stretch your arms and your abs. …
- Push on the stitch.