Get Rid of Side Stitches

Beat Runners Cramps


If you are a runner you will agree, that as a group, runners are a dedicated bunch. You may also be extremely familiar with the side cramps that you get after a run. This is from being put under too much pressure. Avoid the pain by using these tips from MO Orthopedics.

What and when you eat before a run may contribute to side stitches. If your body is still digesting food, there will be less blood flowing to the diaphragm, which can induce spasms. Foods high in fat and fiber take longer to digest, so avoid eating these one to two hours before you run.
Fruit juices and beverages high in sugar can contribute to stitches. If you are very serious about getting rid of side stiches, consider keeping a log of the foods and drinks you consume pre-run so you can recognize triggers.

Performing 10 minutes of core-strengthening exercises, like planks and donkey kicks, three times a week (or practicing yoga or Pilates on a regular basis) can strengthen weak diaphragm muscles, making them less likely to cramp. A stronger core will also help you run more efficiently and reduce your vulnerability to injury.

Going from standing to a full sprint may save you time on the watch, but it can create irregular, rapid-fire breathing patterns, which can leave you bending over in pain. Invest in two to three minutes of brisk walking, and then gradually work into an easy running effort before launching into your planned workout pace.

Inhale and exhale fully and deeply can help reduce the occurrence of side stitches. Research shows that breathing “faster”—as in, inhale for two steps, exhale for one step—increases the depth of breath.