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Stitch in side

kelownagirl2010-05-02 05:31:06 +0000 #1
Can anyone tell me what causes a stitch in your side? How do you avoid getting one? How do you make it go away once you have one?

I don't get them but my son (9) does. He has a 3k cross country run tomorrow.

Thanks,
Grog2010-05-02 05:37:37 +0000 #2
I think it's all about breathing.

Can't tell much more unfortunately. It tends to go away with training, but then I find that I get them for a week or two in a row (when I run), every 4 months maybe? Not often anyway.

Running with your arms up in the air seems to help... (Maybe it just distracts you!!)
Wahine2010-05-02 06:08:42 +0000 #3
Esentially a stitch in the side is a muscle spasm that is deep enough to qualify as a cramp. Kinda like when you cramp in your calf. Well, just like your calf if you stretch the muscle out, it decreases the cramp. So raising the arms does help.

Since the cramp is in a respiratory muscle deep breathing will help to prevent it. I tell people to imagine that their lungs are a pitcher and that the pitcher has to be filled from the bottom up. This gets them expanding the lower lungs more and decreases the chance of a cramp. Once a cramp happens, you have to slow down the running pace and breath in deeply through the nose and strongly out through the mouth, such that you immediately breath very deeply again through the nose. This can *sometimes* make them go away.

Here's hoping your son does well in his race.
LBTC2010-05-02 06:25:16 +0000 #4
Someone posted a link here before that described both a stitch and nausea brought on by exercise. If I find the link I'll post it again.

What I remember is much of what Wahine said and that it is important to do 2 things:

when you feel a stitch coming on, don't let it get up to full strength because a bad one can last for days.

and it's very important to slow down, but if you suddenly stop it is just as bad as if you just keep going hard.

Hugs and butterflies - and extra happy breathing butterflies for your son,

~T~

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