Side Ache While Running: What to Do?

Side Ache While Running: What to Do?

All runners, without exception, encounter this problem from time to time. However, it is much more common in beginners. What you need to do, when it hurts while running? Professional coaches give valuable tips to prevent this insignificant problem from violating your training plans.

6 Tips for an Acute Side Stitch

1. Monitor breathing and posture

If you don’t have any chronic diseases of the liver, pancreas or gall bladder, side stitch on your right or left during running is a completely natural thing. What can you do to make the pain go away? It is necessary to slow down the pace, maybe it is better even to stop and catch your breath by making several deep breaths and exhalations.

To avoid side stitch during running, stick to the following rules:

  • always warm up before a workout;
  • never run with a full stomach;
  • watch your breath, breathe evenly and avoid talking during the run;
  • watch your posture: a flat back during running promotes deep breathing and an uncompressed diaphragm;
  • the running pace and intensity should be increased gradually - this is the most important tip.

It's no wonder if the side stitch appears after a break in training. If you run regularly and follow the training plan, the body adapts to the load and its gradual increase, and later you can forget about it.

2.Switch to walking

Side stitch happens more often in beginners. When people start working out, their untrained heart is small and capillary vessels are not enough for proper blood flow. In the process of training, the network of capillaries expands. When we run, lactate is produced and gets into the blood. Blood is purified from lactate through the liver. If capillaries cannot cope with the amount of blood containing lactate, a spasm occurs. It results in a side stitch.

If you start feeling side ache, you need to switch from running to walking and dose the load. Do not try to strongly accelerate from the start. Physical shape improvement should be gradual.

3.Massage your side on exhalation

The liver doesn’t have nerve endings, so the liver never hurts. However, when the organ is overloaded with blood, the liver increases and starts pressing into other tissues with nerve endings. For example, liver fascia (membrane) has a lot of nerve endings, and when the liver is enlarged, painful sensations arise.

To eliminate aching, you need to take a deep breath and, strongly exhaling, thoroughly massage the area of ​​the liver with a strong push. Thus, you stimulate the blood outflow, and the pain will go away.

Before the workout, avoid eating fatty or fried foods, as it overloads the liver, that needs to work hard during the run, processing lactic acid.

4.Never forget about the warm-up

Most often, the side ache appears in people with lower fitness level. If you have just started running, you can often face this problem at the beginning. There is nothing wrong about it. Just slow down the pace to a comfortable level. Continue to run, as with training progress it will happen a lot more rarely.

With experienced runners, this happens less often, but no one is fully protected from side stitch. Moreover, the problem may occur at the most inopportune moment, for example, at competitions.

Pay attention to a quality warm-up and never start running with a full stomach. Come to the start in advance and plan the time for warming up. A full warm-up is 2 km (a bit more than 1 mile) of light pace run, followed by a joints warm-up and a few short accelerations. Be sure to plan your meal time before the workout or the important start.

5.Relax and take a few deep breaths

Pain in the right hypochondrium is a common problem when running, especially for beginners. There can be many reasons for that. We are going to name a few.

  • Load on the liver. Remember your last meal before the workout and the day before. If it consisted of heavy foods or was eaten short before the workout, this reason is most likely. If the pain occurs regularly, it may be worth reviewing your diet.
  • Curvature of the bile ducts. In medical terminology, the diagnosis sounds different, but the essence remains the same: there is a violation of the bile outflow. This is not a pathology, but a peculiarity of the gallbladder structure. If you are afraid that the pain can overtake during an important race, then I recommend that you completed the course of cholagogue herbal medicine well in advance of the start. This is a simple, affordable and effective tool. Before using any medications, consult your healthcare provider.
  • Load on the heart. A large blood supply circle carries oxygenated blood to our organs and tissues. In simple terms, the heart works hard to push a large amount of blood to the internal organs including liver. The liver can’t cope with such volume of work. In this case, the best solution is to slow down and reduced load intensity respectively.

In all three cases, it will be useful to relax, take a few deep breaths and exhale, connecting the diaphragm to the breathing process. If the pain occurs regularly, then of course, you should consult your doctor.

6.Have some rest

Any painful sensations, except for muscular should be analyzed to reveal serious ailments or temporary inconveniences.

If you feel left side ache, it is likely to be pancreas or spleen. Typically, this is a temporary spasm, which can be leveled by simple palpation or temporary rest, after which you can continue training.

Right side ache is a bit more complicated – it means the problem is located somewhere in the liver and the adjacent tissues or bile ducts. In this case, it is better to be more cautious, but there are possible ways of solving the problem.

There can be several reasons for the pain: bedtime meal, problems with pain-signaling organs, wrong running pace, in which the body cannot cope with an overabundance of lactic acid.

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