9 Methods to Prevent Side Stitches when Running

 

How To Prevent A Stitch | Top Tips For Endurance Athletes

Video taken from the channel: Global Triathlon Network


 

How to Prevent a Side Stitch

Video taken from the channel: Harry Runs


 

How To Prevent A Stitch And What Science Says

Video taken from the channel: The Running Channel


 

5 Minute Run Form Fix for Side Cramps (Side Stitches)

Video taken from the channel: The Run Experience


 

What’s Causing That Stitch in Your Side?

Video taken from the channel: SciShow


 

How To Get Rid Of Side Stitches

Video taken from the channel: The Run Experience


 

How To Prevent & Deal With A Side Stitch While Running

Video taken from the channel: Global Triathlon Network


9 Ways to Prevent Side Stitches when Running The Cause. Despite being extremely common, the cause of side stitches, or exercise-related transient abdominal pain Your Action Plan. Now for the good news: Side stitches typically go away the more you run. Though elite athletes aren’t Before a. A side stitch is the sharp pain you get in your side, just below your chest, when you’re running or exercising.

It’s very common and although it isn’t serious, it can be painful. Find out. How to prevent a side stitch Breakfast: Eat a light breakfast, low in fiber and fat. Breakfast 2.0: Eat your breakfast 2 – 3 hours before the start.

A small power snack right before the race, like a Warm-up: Warming up is required. A casual running warm-up prepares not only the muscles, but also. Runner’s World reports while the cause of “side stitches” (the sharp pain that occurs below the ribs when running) has yet to be proven, experts have their own thoughts on the matter, and ways it can be prevented.. Jordan D. Metzl, MD, primary care sports medicine physician at HSS, suggested the cause is a result of a diaphragm spasm.The diaphragm, is a muscle that extends. While my pre-workout foods and stretches have definitely made a difference in helping me prevent a side stitch before it happens, there are still days when those darn side cramps creep up on me and threaten to bring my run to a complete halt, but I recently remembered a tip I read in a magazine MANY years ago that has totally changed my life.

Side stitch is history and you’re running without swearing once again. Dr. Jordan Metzl shows you how to put a stop to muscle cramping, including side stitches, in the video below. Stitch Whilst Running – How to Avoid Stitches When Running What is a Stitch?

A stitch, also known as a side pain or exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP), is a pain in the side of the abdomen many people experience from time to time whilst partaking in physical activity. احتمالا” شما هم تجربه درد پهلو هنگام دویدن یا تمرینات ورزشی را داشته اید،اما آیا می دانید علت درد پهلو در دویدن چیست و برای درمان آن باید چه کار انجام دهید؟. Try to get rid of your side stitch first before going out again. #4 Stop And Stretch – Often it is better to stop and stretch rather than to continue pushing on with your stitch. Stretching will help relieve the tension. And once the stitch goes away, you can hit your target pace again.

The Final Tip: Run more!Inhaling deeply and exhaling fully while running can help to prevent side stitches from occurring. Eat properly before your run What you eat and how long you wait in between eating and exercising both contribute to you your chances of getting a side stitch.

List of related literature:

Side stitches among runners may be the result of the pumping action of legs putting pressure on the diaphragm from below, with the rapid breathing associated with strenuous physical activity expanding the lungs and placing pressure on the diaphragm from above at the same time.

“Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine” by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
from Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine
by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
SAGE Publications, 2010

I get stitches (side pains) if/when I run.

“The Women's Health Big Book of Pilates: The Essential Guide to Total-Body Fitness” by Brooke Siler, Editors of Women's Health
from The Women’s Health Big Book of Pilates: The Essential Guide to Total-Body Fitness
by Brooke Siler, Editors of Women’s Health
Rodale Books, 2013

Stitch above the right foot when running.

“The Chronic Diseases: Their Specific Nature and Homoeopathic Treatment” by Samuel Hahnemann, Charles Julius Hempel (J.)
from The Chronic Diseases: Their Specific Nature and Homoeopathic Treatment
by Samuel Hahnemann, Charles Julius Hempel (J.)
Radde, 1846

Close the two-layered fascia in a running stitch with 1-0 Vicryl or any other strong monofilament suture.

“Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care E-Book: Expert Consult” by John L. Pfenninger, Grant C. Fowler
from Pfenninger and Fowler’s Procedures for Primary Care E-Book: Expert Consult
by John L. Pfenninger, Grant C. Fowler
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

Then go back over the same area with another Running Stitch when a line of Running Stitches has been completed.

“The Needlepoint Book: A Complete Update of the Classic Guide” by Jo Ippolito Christensen
from The Needlepoint Book: A Complete Update of the Classic Guide
by Jo Ippolito Christensen
Touchstone, 2009

Running-stitch done twice on the same line, making a solid line on both sides by filling in spaces ordinarily left between running-stitches.

“A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion: Historic and Modern” by Mary Brooks Picken
from A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion: Historic and Modern
by Mary Brooks Picken
Dover Publications, 2013

Try to maintain a knitterly frame of mind and, when possible, work the stitches consistently — either in the trough of running threads between the first 2 stitches when you’re working vertically or along the same row of stitches when you’re working with a horizontal edge.

“Knitting For Dummies” by Pam Allen, Shannon Okey, Tracy L. Barr, Marly Bird
from Knitting For Dummies
by Pam Allen, Shannon Okey, et. al.
Wiley, 2019

To help relieve a side stitch, press firmly at the point of the pain with your hand while bending forward or backward.

“Health Opportunities Through Physical Education” by Corbin, Charles B, McConnell, Karen, Le Masurier, Guy, Corbin, David, Farrar, Terri
from Health Opportunities Through Physical Education
by Corbin, Charles B, McConnell, Karen, et. al.
Human Kinetics, 2014

An article in Runner’s World recommended stretching, icing, and anti-inflammatories, but Bartlett wondered: “Can I ‘run through it,” or do I need to take a break from my training?”

“Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide” by Hal Higdon
from Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide
by Hal Higdon
Rodale Books, 2005

Breathing naturally, bring your right arm up overhead, stretching towards the sky, as you simultaneously lift your left heel, keeping the toes of your left foot on the ground.

“A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook” by Bob Stahl, Elisha Goldstein, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli
from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook
by Bob Stahl, Elisha Goldstein, et. al.
New Harbinger Publications, 2010

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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162 comments

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  • Am trying to push myself to get back into running but I got a cramp on my left and right side of my stomach. Same thing happened to my calves but I was still jogging and now it doesn’t matter if I’m in one place or in I’m running a marathon, it hurts to breath a bit and sneezes, yawns and coughs give extreme pain of both sides.. pls help

  • This fucking pisses me off so much, its stopping me from progressing and getting better, I do everything right the entire 3 hours before my “run” but 1-2 km in I feel like I’ve been shot, i start crying in pain. Im 15 years old and apparently stitches are more common in younger runners. However I’m thinking of quitting for the time being because it isnt worth waking up at 6 in the morning to go for a run at 9, just to be in horrible pain and feel depressed for the rest of the day. Running should the best part of your day and recently it’s made me feel useless and demotivated

  • I run cross country I’m a straight female girl 13 years old and I do monster miles and my side hurts so I looked up how to help lol

  • In addition to exhaling with abs tension, you can gently press your palm against pain area, sit down or bend while breathing out. Inhale slowly using your diaphragm, not rib cage muscles.

  • Thank u soo mutch because i started running like a week ago because I NEED to lose some weight and i didn’t know what caused it and how to deal with it one more time thank you soo mutch

  • I always get stitches as soon as I get into the Rhythm, but as soon as it comes my pace dies down not because I’m tired but because the pain is unbearable

  • I’ve been dealing with sharp pain under my right rib cage on every run for over a year. Even went to the ER thinking it might be my pancreas or liver. Dozens of tests later: specialists have no idea.

  • What about if you feel pressure on your chest? Because for me I get that sometimes and It feels like it’s pressure on my heart and I have to completely stop running

  • I used to get a stitch when racing time trials which I put down to being sat on a bike in a cramped position not allowing my diaphragm to move properly, interestingly I don’t get stitches when running and now I’ve quit time trialling. Great vid ��

  • For runner buddies, I just read on Wikipedia about side stiches which gave one more advice and that’s exhaling when left leg lands and decreasing respiration frequency ie going with deep breaths… Thanks sci-show ��

  • I am so embarrassed �� today was my 3 cross country meet and I got 54 place out of 223 other girls. Last meet I got 18 place out of 216 other girls just because I got THE worst side stitch I have ever gotten. We had to run 1.5 miles and not even half way through I got one and I had to stop 2 bc of the pain

  • I got a really bad pain yesterday and Never experience that before!!! Now I realized it was cuz I ate a little too much before my run though I didn’t think it was too much…one cucumber and few pieces of cheese…

  • So glad I found this video. I’ve been getting this stitch every time I run and it’s so annoying to the point that I tried to squeeze it so hard while running. I tried taking a break from running but it didn’t work. I tried not eating or drinking anything 2 hrs before running but still didn’t work. I’m really worried that I might deal with this for the rest of my life and might discourage me from trying to lose more weight.

  • I got a stitch during my intense run this morning (right towards the end, luckily). Deep breathing and stretching often clears it up for me, at least for a short while!

  • One thing that always works for me is breathing in very deep into your stomach rather than your chest. It feels weird but it works every time. After about 10 deep breaths into the stomach it’s gone.

  • Im overweight and have started working out a month ago. I run on the treadmill for 2 miles (on and off) and get a stitch every time. Could this be weight related?

  • When i breathe to much from the chest i get bad side stich.learning to control diaphramatic breathing seems to work when i can focus on it

  • I had baseball practice and had to run from home plate all the way to rf foul pole and from rf foul pole all the way to Lf foul pole

  • Leggings are not pants. If legging were pants, one could just put paint over their ass and vagina and call it pants. Skin colored vagina = naked. Purple colored vagina = wearing pants.

  • I made a similar comment in the last video about stitches… I used to get one every run, but not filling up on water, and doing a breathing technique kept mine at bay… similar to the other suggested ones, breathe all the way out, emptying your lungs, then a couple of normal breaths to keep you from passing out and repeat until it’s gone. It may come back, so you might have to slow a bit and repeat, but it keeps you from having to stop.

  • Once i feel one coming on i will start inhling through my mouth and snowly exhaling through my nose trying to give my lungs time to extract the oxygen from my breath it always works for me

  • Im 12 and I get this almost every time when I run mostly when I’m playing football because I am a very jittery player and usually bounce around and run as fast as I can

  • I always get it on my right side when I’m running a lot in basketball games it always comes around like 14 minutes of continuous running and I’m a good runner for track always won first place but have been getting the cramp on my right side since I was 7 idk how to get rid of it

  • I have been getting side sitch on my bottom right abdomen for 8 days straight. The most frustrating part is that i get these after just 200 m into the running. Any tips?

  • Hey guys! Can you make a video about running on empty stomach? I am trying to find more info. Because even after 3 hours of eating I get super nauseated ��. Love your videos! Hello from Quebec!

  • You might be pre diabetic if you get them, I get them if i eat/drink something overly sweet. Even if I’m just walking I get them. If you do just drink a lot of water after you eat/drink the sweets

  • I feel I tend to get stitches if I’m going farther, or sometimes not enough water. I try to stand straighter when dealing along with breathing in nose out mouth. It tends to go away with 5-7 min

  • I had cross country today for the first time and when I literally JUST started running I had a side ache or a stitch. It was soooo annoying cause it caused me to walk most of the way witch is really annoying. I slowed down and controlled my breathing but that didn’t seam to work. I didn’t squeeze my side cause I wasn’t sure if that would make it worse or not so I’m going to be sure to do that next time. I am not able to stretch cause my couch would be like “KEEP GOING DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU’RE GONNA WANNA BE STRETCHING IN A RACE?!!!! THATS WHAT I THOUGHT. MAKE IT A HABIT IT AINT GONNA DO YOU NO GOOD”

  • Someone told me that I should only inhale through my nose when running and get my step/breathe on the same beat. That was in 2001-2002ish when I was in the army. I thought it sounded a lil crazy.
    20 years later and I only feel the pain if I push 2 hard and I start inhaling with my mouth 2 much. Starting to think they might have been right.

  • From about age 6 through around 11, I used to get them regularly. I was THE KID always running either fastest or the longest than any of my peers; even changed elementary schools regularly, but I was always THE KID, who out ran everyone. Distance, speed, or both, it didn’t matter. My teachers, parents, scout leaders all said the same thing (as to why I got stitches): “you run too hard all the time”. Eventually, by middle school and later into high school, I never got them again, but I wasn’t running everywhere all the time; just in regular training for organized sports. Even now and over the past 30 years, I’ve never gotten them (occasional 5k, 13.1, 26.2, several IM Races, a lot of double centuries, a few ultra cycling races, even ran 40 miles through Death Valley once crewing for a fellow running the BW135). Still, never a stitch. I’ve always been inclined to believe that I out grew them.

  • if you get a stitch, hold your thumb in your clenched fist on one hand. It will go away pretty quickly. I don’t know how it works, I don’t know why it works, it just works.

  • I watched this and would you believe it… I got my first stitch in over 10 years on my very next run. What did you do to me ������

  • I am getting this everyday at the same place while running. It’s kind of starts after i start running for 2 3 minutes. It does go away when i stop. But if i again start running it comes back immidiately, and the worse part it. Whenever i run or do cardio. It comes back. Resting doesn’t help. What is it. What should be done.

  • Tbh I will tell u what eat lots of nutrients walk or run for a long time eat salads keep hydrated slowly u will get better then run for a long time

  • I grab the area and breath slightly but gradually increasingly until it starts to act, then back down and start the breathing again. It works, at least for me!

  • I’m literally sat on a bench down the canal I run down everyday bc I was running then I got the worst stitches ever on both sides

  • I guess my cramps are coming from eating too much and not giving stomach enough time to digest the food. I’m glad it wasn’t something todo with my body because running just started getting easier.

  • Another theory is that when you are running your body needs more oxygen delivered to your muscles. To accomplish this task vessels in your muscles and entire body dilate and your heart rate and breathing frequency increase helping deliver more oxygen across your body. To help these compensatory mechanisms our spleen, that can hold up to 350ml of “reserve” blood inside it, contracts and releases supplementary blood volume into our vascular system. This contraction of the spleen can be painful and cause side stitches.

  • I honestly hate these things. When I started biking with my friends over time my legs got jacked so I tried out running every once and a while and I love it. I get them from the first 20 seconds I start running and that’s obviously a bad sign. I can never run through them but when I do, I can go so fast and far. Had to search this up to stop it. Thanks

  • I was playing basketball from
    3:30 pm till 5:37 pm and nonstop
    And after that my right Side hurts so much everytime i stand up and face my body up but a few days it passes.

  • I don’t understand what’s happening to me. When I walk, I receive the stitch even if I’m not walking fast, and even doing just a little bit of activity triggers my stitch. I have a belt test for my karate class, and I’m afraid that my stitch will trigger and force me to stop.

  • For years I’ve used a technique that works for when you just start to notice a stitch coming on. Take a breath in and then breath out fairly sharply but from the stomach as if you’re in pilates or yoga, tensing your abs as you do so. Benefit is you can often get a good ab workout while you’re at it.

  • Long story short:
    1. Only eat 2-3 hours before race
    2. Be well hydrated
    3. If you need to take small sips of water during race
    4. Squeeze side
    5. Take a break
    6. Stretch

    Your welcome ��

  • I just started running a few months ago. A good friend who qualified for Boston told me to breath in for 2sec and out hard and fast until the stitch goes away. I was getting stitches under my right rib. Don’t get them anymore.

  • I have to admit when Rick made the comment at 1:10, I almost spit water all over my computer screen. I was stitches laughing at that one.
    My personal conjecture for side stitches; They suck.

  • I get a pain often on my left or right side. Sometimes both at the same time. I’ve always called them side stitches but they seem to be higher than where a stitch would be so I’m not sure. They tend to be where my bra strap would be located. I get an intense, sharp pain that locks up my whole side but the pain is primarily in the region I spoke of. I get it even from doing simple things such as sneezing, coughing or laughing. If I stretch it also happens so I don’t stretch as often as I should, in fear of the pain. I try deep breathing, it makes it worse. So it being that high up, would it be considered a side stitch? I’ve literally dealt was these for many many years… any info, help would be amazing. Sidenote…. these are things I’ve tried…. creams, Gatorade, more water, bananas, deep breathing and self massage. Thanks. Much Love ����

  • Ive been working out I have to run Wednesday for tryouts and I do jumping jacks at home and start getting side stitches I always get them Idk why I workout, I drink gatorade and juice and sometimes water but I also eat a lot of junk food��and when I press my side cramp it goes away then when I start moving again it comes back

  • When in running, I get stitches, my legs hurts, my chest hurts, my shoulders hurt…. So to prevent all of this is to just go to your happy place. When your running think about the sounds you hear, the birds tweeting, the trees whispers and your feet stepping against the ground, then up from the ground. But you have to concentrate. Loose that concentration and you feel the pain again.

    Anothe technique you could try is breathing before you race. Take a deep breath in, when you inhale it should take about 8 to 10 seconds, then hold it for 10 seconds, the let it all out in one breath. Do that about 3 to 5 times. It works about 99.9% of the time.

  • Latelly I had the stitch every time I ran. Before I basically never had that. I’m sure that it has to do with to much consuming sweet drinks before I go running.

    After feeling tyred alot after running dayly I thought I had to take more sweet drinks. It did help but now I have side stitches.

  • Should I push through it? I’m not that fit when ever I go running after about 500m I get a stitch it extremely painful I try to keep running but it feels like I’m damaging my body. I’ve tried all different amounts and types of food before i go but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. am I just to week or something�� I’m 74kg 18 years old male

  • The rhythmic breathing thing (kinda) is what works for me, but its more a case of changing it around. Like if im trucking along and my in-breaths are starting when my left foot hits the ground, i swap it so it starts when my right foot hits. Every few Ks I do a little mental check in on form etc and use it as a chance to change this around.

    As for fixing it I find a few HUGE deep belly breaths seems to ease it. Its wierd though because I can go months at a time without a stich but if I get one I seem more likely to get another one, which convinces me its some kind of muscle/ligament/whatevs thing.

  • I got really fit over a period of 6 months. I was pretty decent at running and was managing 5k runs in 27 mins or so. Took 2 weeks off during christmas to eat. Got stitches now when I run. What could this be?

  • I always get a side stitch in my right side! ALWAYS. It shows up so often I’ve named it Norman. I hate Norman! What I find frustrating is that I seem to get a side stitch now matter when I eat/drink.

  • Occasionally I get stitches on my long runs, only on the (usually right) side. I just continue running, since it’s not that painful and the stitch passes after couple of minutes. My theory for them is posture and drinking

  • Have you ever done a video covering toe problem fixes? Anything to help with the blisters and the bruising under the toenails would be greatly appreciated.

  • I noticed when running that working on my breathing technique prevents the stitch. I used to get the stitch one mile in, then I started getting the stich at 4 miles in a run when I switched my breathing technique to in in, out out

  • It really sucks for me cuz from 2015-2019 I was completely fine until I got my first serious injury in late November (I broke my left hand) and then I couldn’t play basketball for 4 months. I come back and then I keep randomly getting this side pain when I’m trying to run. This pain literally won’t allow me to shoot how to used to or even do anything how I used to

  • i usually get side stitches when i dance a lot or jump for fun in my home. the dancers dont even get side stitches because they’re used to exercising and dancing a lot:T good for them.

  • Clever me, i did holding my aching side without knowing that this might work… I hold it like I’m gonna tear my skin because i was so mad at this nonsense pain why do we have this shit that limiting us to run freely until we’re exhausted

  • You call it stitches, I call it muscle cramps, which I have in my side every since I had diaphragm surgery. The wrong move will buckle in a severe cramp the size of a lemon or egg and I have to allow it to go away. It helps to pull the body away from it instead of folding into it.

  • I always assumed it had something to do with improper breathing techniques, specifically due to inconsistent breathing during exercise.

  • In 2015 I caught a virus with similar symptoms to covid 19. I had a chest x-ray and they incidentally found I had fibrous dysplasia in one of my ribs. I had pain in the area like a side stitch from childhood but never knew what it was.

  • Can you please make a video about getting yourself up to run in the morning/some tips for early morning running? Thanks, love your videos!

  • I am someone that is relatively fit and I was always doing sport growing up but literally every time I jog/run I get a freaking stitch. Sprints don’t usually trigger it, but warming up on the elliptical machine at the gym (“low impact”) always triggers it no matter when I last ate or drank. My organs just say no oh god please stop why are you doing this

  • I swear to everything I don’t even know what to say about this… i was running with my coach in training for the marathon and I got that pain on my side… i was like “ugh i need to walk for a bit i got that side pain”…she literally stopped, got in front of me and said “its all in your Head, that pain doesn’t exist” and IN THAT SPLIT SECOND when i repeated to myself, “its all in my head” it went away. it LITERALLY stopped hurting… i don’t know why that is but i wanted to share this because ever since then whenever I get a side pain and I tell myself “stop, focus” it just goes away and i cant explain why that is.

  • The diaphragm makes the most sense. I used to 500 crunches every day with no “stitch” but after running a mile or playing basketball vigorously I would feel it.

  • For a stitch i just pick up a rock i can fit in the same side hand of stitch while i jog and squeeze firmly but not too tight on it. After a minute it goes away, but keep holding the rock!

  • [I like (all of your content, especcialy) when you present a problem! Because I know that I will find a clue about the (partial) solution.]…now I know that running and exercising the abdomen is a healthy combinatio. Nice, thank you!

  • Every time when I run for like a minute i get a side stitch my best friend told me to put my hands on my head. And take a deep breath and something”s”s put my hand on my side stitch

  • I’ve been wondering what causes this. i notice that I get stitches if I run after eating anything really, even a small snack like a piece of toast or something. <3 Glad to know there's no scientific conclusion on this... not.

  • Completely unrelated! But I just found out Andy’s mile PB is under 3:50! amazing. Quite a few have now gone under 4 minutes but under 3:50 is still rare.

  • Or, and hear me out, run smarter, not harder; lean forwards when you run, you hinge at the waist for a reason, you are using your body weight to pull you forwards resulting in higher speeds for a longer duration at a lower stamina cost which are, therefore, easier to maintain and result in fewer stitches. Only two kinds of people run with their torso upright and those are idiots and Hollywood actors… Yes, I’m aware that olympic runners do it too and they ain’t Hollywood actors, sooo…

  • Interesting. I always thought it was indigestion. And I was told by a doctor that gulping in air during training can cause it too. Makes sense. So I controlled my breathing correctly for each relevant training routine and it’s never happened since.

  • I found that swimming/holding my breath under water as long as possible has helped my side stitches. I guess it’s from working out the lungs more

  • I always thought, side stitch comes exclusively from wrong breathing method. I focus on longer exhale phases and the stitch passes after a minute.

    I noticed a pattern, that when I think of something aggrevating or verbal fight related, I get a stitch pretty fast. I am pretty sure, the cause is the breathing rythm for me.

    Gotta try stretching and pushing my torsor up. Good tips, thanks!

  • I found out that eating bananas or having a good amount of potassium in your body helps keep the running cramps away. Just a thought. Thanks.

  • This would happen to me when I was in high school pe class while running the track. One day I started massaging my side before class for about 5 minutes and I wouldn’t have the pain.

  • I try to hold my breath for 30 seconds. I have heard you get stitches because of a lack of oxygen. When you hold your breath you raise your oxygen levels in you blood. It seems to help me.

  • I’ve found that sometimes it’s the pressure of my running belt that brings a stitch on, and moving the belt a little up or down relieves it. In other cases I’ve found pressing with the fingers and belly breathing helps.

  • The diaphragm isn’t at its tightest at the top, but relaxed. Tightening/constricting the diaphragm pulls it downward and taut. Forceful exhalation is supplemented by the abdominal muscles.

  • I think that poor breathing may be a factor, since I ran an XC race and there was a 35mph headwind for most of the course, which made regulating your breathing very difficult, and I ended up with a horrid stitch, as did most of the other runners.

  • I have been getting side sitch on my bottom right abdomen for 8 days straight. The most frustrating part is that i get these after just 200 m into the running. Any tips?

  • I find you don’t get them if you don’t eat or drink just before running, and after a big meal wait at least 2 hours before starting a run. I find starting slower helps, then gradually increase speed, don’t sprint as soon as you start off!

  • When I get a stitch (right side) I try to concentrate on my breathing and slowly inhale through my nose and exhale through my mouth a couple of times. That normally does the trick.

  • 4:20 If I do this in my city, pedestrians will call an exorcist. I guarantee it. Man, I really need to find a neat countryside for exercising.
    Sorry for my bad english. Greetings from germany!

  • Hey, is it really important not to heel strike? I’m unable to run on forefoot. My ankles just start paining after a very short distance plus I look really weird when I run on forefoot. What might I be doing wrong?

  • Hi, great informative video. I try to avoid eating before a run and very rarely get a side stitch. However if I do, I just try to burp and this helps alleviate the pain (for some bizarre reason)….. ����‍♂️

  • Interesting! I thought that a stitch in your side was from your spleen or some other organ getting overloaded with the byproducts of exercise, like acids and stuff. Can’t remember who told me that.

  • Once I heard a story about one runner. He ran a marathon and when he felt a stitch he decided to stretch out the side where it was and got an aspirin. Shortly after that he got hospitalized and had several operations on his digestive tract. We only know ONE THING for sure, stitches usually happen while you are exercising, so don’t follow any myths.

  • When I was young and got it for my first time I thought it was serious thing so I stoppped and cried and gave up and it wasn’t even bad but know I just cry in my head and try to carry on running at the same speed while trying to get rid off it

  • Huh. I get shoulder pain frequently when I run. Never realized it was a stitch. Learn something new every time I come on this channel.

  • What do I do if this only happens during a race on the right side below my ribs, I run cross country and I just have never had this problem before I’m a junior now and it’s been really effecting me during races for the last couple of weeks and I really don’t know what to do it only seems to happen during races not during practice or hard workouts

  • Is there videos of better diet plans for Ultra marathoners and 5K sprinters?
    Also what all we can eat(pls suggest south indian food if possible) on the running day? Pls explain for both small distances like 5k n 10k as well as Ultra distances.

  • Just did my first 10k since watching this video, I did everything u said that will help and I didn’t get a stitch or any sort of pain once. Thank you so much u are a saint my guy

  • I just spent 2 minutes 43 seconds learning that we don’t know what a stitch actually is. Thank you for not making it a 10 minute video:)

  • I’ve found applying light pressure (as Rick mentioned) and slowing down to easy jog pace for a few minutes, then able to pick up the pace again. Thanks for another awesome vid. Cheers!

  • Whenever I get stitch only way I can remove it Is just by relaxing and not moving. Everyone tells me to run when it happend but they don’t believe me it will just hurth even more. When school was a thing and I got stitch during pe it was very hard to run and it ruined my position in race(I got grade from it so it’s even worse).

  • Stopped running 5ks for 3 months from Track and then ran one within the first 10 seconds having a side stitch for the rest of the 3 miles. That s*** hurted but still got a 21:30

    Edit: Ran a couple more and practiced more and now I’m fine

  • I get stitches every so often but I always get a searing pain in the shoulder of the same side when I do! I put my arm above my head, attempt to slow my breathing and even my pace if I have to, if all else fails I will walk for a couple of minutes and try and take some fluid on and that seems to do the trick for me!

  • Does effort dictate your ability to digest food / liquid? Or is it just the actual speed of muscle movement. I hope that makes sense

  • Biting your lip when you have a stitch. I think this is along the lines of diverting your attention from the stitch. It also slows you down since you can’t breath through your mouth.
    BTW, I know dehydration plays a part when I have a stitch.

  • Hey running channel don’t know if you’ll see this but I stumbled across one of your videos in early April and decided to go on a run. I couldn’t run for one minute without stopping. I kept watching your videos and I kept running and I ran my first 10K last night in about 50 minutes. Thank you for your help!!

  • I intermittent fast everyday and don’t eat before noon. 90% of my runs are I the morning but I’ve only ever experienced a stitch on and afternoon/evening run.
    So, for me, it’s definitely food related

  • This is why I love your videos. They are so informative and so well researched. I’ve already learnt so much from them since I’ve started watching! I’ve only taken up running seriously (meaning several runs per week instead of two a month) a couple of weeks ago, and as of know I feel like I’m not making any progress at all and need a time of 30 minutes for 3,5 k, which is still not a comfortable pace. Because of that motivation is an issue for me right now and your videos actually help so much! People laugh at me when I say that I really want to run a marathon one day, but I feel like I could do it. You guys are an inspiration! Lots of love and thanks from Germany <3

  • I rarely get stitches, as I don’t run for at least 90 mins after eating, and how much is consumed is important too. Carbs only before running!

  • I’m not sure why but for some reason it works for me. For prevention I take in the deepest possible breath and hold for as long as possible then exhale. Repeat maybe one or two times and don’t suffer from a stitch. Strange I know… If I forget the process and a stitch comes on I try to control my breathing by relaxing and run threw it and it goes away. Hope this doesn’t sound too crazy lol. Cheers.

  • In elementary school phys ed they taught us to apply pressure to a stitch. I still use that remedy and it seems to work. I just keep running while pressing.

  • Running Channel (Cracking, smashing video, love it)

    Thanks for your reply back, want to delete last message.

    Want to delete my last message, because the tech turn through me (Diaphragmatic Ischemia) tech turn through me, seriously think and firmly believe stitches are a result of breathing.

    Wanted to say this (hope you don’t mind) for Motor Racing and Horse Riding (in jumps etc) the g forces in it, g forces makes it harder for you to breathe in it causing the stitches in these sports because it makes it harder for you to breathe in it just like in running.

    And also using inhalers in them/sports to help you to breathe backs it up.

  • Always gotten them. Even when I was young and had a very strong core. Always on the right side of my body, as far as I can recall. Weird

  • Interesting video. I noticed that you mentioned core strength I’ve certainly had fewer stiches since I’ve been going to Pilates classes.

  • I’m a soccer referee and typically run 12/13 miles/day on Sat/Sun during the 10 week season. This monday after lunch, without warning, I noticed what feels like a side stich. Subtle pain @ the left side of my stomach near the pant line which can be felt getting into/out of a chair, walking, walking up stairs. Today is Tue even and it has not gone away. I have not run since Sun. What’s happening and how can I get rid of it quickly… I have 3 more games this Sat.

  • I just arrived home from a run with my son who had a stitch and this was next in my watch later list. Great timing & informative talk as always ��

  • Watched your 2019 NYC marathon race today. You did a great job for a great cause. My wife cried when she finished,too. I hope we get to run this year?????

  • I’ve never been certain if what I get is a stich. It’s usually higher up my side than where you’re pointing in the video. Not as high as my shoulder, more like my low arm pit. It only ever happens on my left side.

    If that is a stich (and not my heart failing), then I get them while drinking on the run. Last year during a local 5K one of the attendants was trying to give me some water. I steered away from the table to signal I wasn’t stopping, but this poor old lady chased me all the way across the street to hand me this cup of pain. After a few sips it was almost immediate.

    I’ve also noticed if I go long periods of time just doing easy zone 2 stuff, the next time I go on a tempo run I might get one towards the end. I thought it was my lungs complaining that they hadn’t worked hard for awhile. In either case, putting my arm over my head feels good and they usually go away after a few minutes, but damn they can hurt.

  • I had severe side stitches in my youth and in the top of my shoulder. They were always severe. I always ate hours and hours before I ran. I never drank enough water before my runs. Now as an adult I never get those stitches anymore.

  • When I first got into running I would get side stitches almost all the time. Now, it’s seldom that I get a stitch, but when I do they seem to always be in my shoulder. I try to focus on my breathing when I do get one, by making sure I’m breathing deeply. It seems to help ����‍♀️.

  • My girlfriend said she would buy me a t-shirt with my favourite metal band on (she doesn’t like me wearing this type of clothing) if I beat the best time at my local parkrun. the record is 15.06, do I have a chance or am I condemned to a life of button up shirts and chinos?

  • I dont get it.
    Only the weak get it.
    Its an excuse from the lazy ones.

    Or maybe not…

    Its been years since I had a side stich last time, and it has nothing to do with how I eat before or during run.
    But getting used to longer runs seems to affect it positively.
    The times I’ve had a stich, I just slowed down and ran through it.

  • Great topic to consider so many myths around the side stitch in athletics. Like so many others It absolutely crippled my running career in High School; troubled me in every race and even walking down stairs invoked it. Bad advice included “Your just not fit yet”. “Pull some grass up as you run”, “more cross training needed”. “Reach for the sky” etc etc. All of us who suffered it pulled out of running. Mid sixties I hesitantly started running again 100 mt to ultra marathons damn stitch turned up again, but I’m on top of it now cos I know 3 things FOR SURE. 1) LHS stitch is too much food today, RHS indicates too much food yesterday, (I’ve tested it repeatedly) 2. Its the excess weight on the (recently discovered) Peritoneum which this food and drink creates that does the hurting. 3. Don’t eat or drink any sizeable quantity for 2 3 hours before a race. 4./ Warm up; build up to speed slowly; don’t go hard out too soon. I’m still hearing advice that MIGHT alleviate it finger press, reach up, reach down, carry a stone, breathing patterns etc etc, but they never cure, only relieve for short time. Interestingly NZ long distance runner Lorraine Moller used to get it whenever she drank sugar drinks on a marathon this seems to draw blood to the colon and therefore increases the weight of it. VO2 max now up to 56; 400mt 64 sec. Mile time under 6″, half Marathon 1.40. It just gets better, (especially if I ‘eat like an african’:)

  • I’ve found that pressing on the area helps alleviate the pain. I try not to eat or drink before an activity to try to prevent a stitch, although I’ve gotten stitches without eating or drinking anything for hours beforehand.

    I didn’t realise the shoulder pain was a stitch… Thought I was having a heartattack.

  • What I got out of this is drink more water and eat meals on a regular basis, no snacking in between and eating crap. That solves it, it is what I’m going to try!

  • I’m watching this video because if i run i seriously get a side stitch after like 25 meter running or it even happends with walking i don’t know what to do about it and i already have that for 3 years, and i want it to stop..

  • I have only ever experienced three stitches whilst running and with two of them I started to take longer a deeper breathes and after a few minutes it elevated a lot of the pain and the third time the deep breathing did nothing so I just sucked it up and continued to run and eventually to disappeared. I was in a lot of discomfort tho trying to run through it ��

  • When I get a stitch, currently I get it when I haven’t eaten since the night before as well as eating or drinking too much too soon, I would try the forward sweep while running (sounds hard but meeting the spec of the stretch isn’t there but just the action.) I also find walking breaks and breathing deeply helps but it probably loses the motivation if you are on your own.

  • ↓↓ Do you have any treatments or tips for preventing a stitch? Share your advice with the running community in the comments below! ↓↓

  • I normally get stitches when my pace breathing or running rhythm is disturbed or not regular. ( usually due to a lack of focus) To get rid of it I take a deep breath And raise both hands above my head And then breath out bending over. I repeat it a couple times. It may look weird but I manage to do this while running even and it controls the stitch and stops it from becoming uncontrollably painful. Focus on my breathing also helps. Does not seem like you mentioned this anywhere so would be interesting if it works on anyone else. I swear by it and it works everytime.

  • I find I get a side stitch when I breath incorrectly for long runs. When I feel like I don’t get enough air

    To add on to that I her shoulder stitches when my shoulders aren’t relaxed and in an uncomfortable position. Is that a stitch in the shoulder or is that something else?

  • It’s just a cramp in the digestive system, probably the result of pushing liquid up hill while bouncing around in exercise. My guess is the ascending colon, although I thought water is mostly absorbed before it gets there. But for me, that’s the location of the cramp every time, and always happens at about 23 minutes. Eating and drinking smaller portions always prevents the cramp. The consistent timing, consistent location, relationship to food and water and the fact that it always goes away support the cause strongly.

  • When I was in junior high / high school, I would get side stitches while running. I haven’t gotten them as an adult, but I also weigh 70 lbs less and am much more fit.

  • Wow now I finally realized why Americans have a weird superstition that you can’t swim after a meal while other nations swim whenever they want just fine.
    It’s probably because American meals typically tend to make people feel bloated and are larger than typical meals of humans in general, hence there’s much larger chance of side stiches.
    Inadequate hydration from soda probably also plays a part.

  • I get a pain often on my left or right side. Sometimes both at the same time. I’ve always called them side stitches but they seem to be higher than where a stitch would be so I’m not sure. They tend to be where my bra strap would be located. I get an intense, sharp pain that locks up my whole side but the pain is primarily in the region I spoke of. I get it even from doing simple things such as sneezing, coughing or laughing. If I stretch it also happens so I don’t stretch as often as I should, in fear of the pain. I try deep breathing, it makes it worse. So it being that high up, would it be considered a side stitch? I’ve literally dealt was these for many many years… any info, help would be amazing. Sidenote…. these are things I’ve tried…. creams, Gatorade, more water, bananas, deep breathing and self massage. Thanks. Much Love ����

  • When I first started running as soon as I was 17 minutes in I got a stitch on the (L) side. after a couple of months it stopped. Was told to breathe in for the count ot 10 and out to 10 whilst bending into the stitch side.

  • But it hasn’t stopped and only gotten worse over the past eight years, and my doctor doesn’t know how to help. I NEED YOU’RE HELP, RANDOM YOUTUBE MAN!

  • I remember when I had a pretty bad stitch. 2015 Beerathon. Never again. But managed to take part in the event twice. No chunder either! Result. Just remember to breath, relax and drop the pace.

  • This is nice! I sometimes get stitch on the right part of my body, just below the chest, when I start doing zumba and crunches. I’m relieved to know that it’s not something related to my kinsey and the likes. I guess I should not eat right before exercising. ��

  • Stitches are caused by a little devil who sleeps in the stomach. When you run, he gets bounced around and it wakes him up! which obviously really annoys him so he throws his fork into your sides. The best way to get rid of the stitch is to stop and bend over that way the devil can reach his fork, pull it out and go back to sleep. Run like you don’t want to wake the devil.

  • Most of the inserted video clips in your posts don’t really have anything to do with what you’re talking about—at least it’s not completely evident why you insert these clips. Are they because you need a minimum sponsor viewing for the products you’re showing in the slow motion videos? In any case, love the videos—much appreciated

  • Hi guys! I don’t get stitches all that often but they are quite debilitating when I do get one…I find the only thing that helps me is to stop and really stretch out the offending side, usually the right side (as mentioned in the video), when I start running again I have to build it up slowly from about 1min/km slower than target pace and speed up as comfort allows over then next 1-2km…touch wood that they remain a rare occurrence for me!:) Loving the content these last few weeks guys!

  • I usually touch the ground with my hand that is the same side as the stitch as I run or whilst standing still, this alleviates the pain for a while.

  • I get it sometimes; usually if I run after eating. What seams to help is picking up a stone slightly smaller than a golfball and making a fist on that. Or if I cant find a stone I will put my thumb between two middelfingers and make a fist on it. And sometimes I’ll take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. And if nothing works just realise that today is not a good day and call it quits. Although the pain of having to quit might be worse. I was on the verge of setting a new PB on the 10K by large; but with 1.4K left I got a stitch and had to give up. That hurt…

  • Love this Channel! I used to get Stitches all of the time when I first started running. I learned a breathing technique of breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. I’m not sure why it works but I haven’t had a stitch your years.

  • Yes, I agree that a lot of these advices are helpful. However, I would like to add one to the list that helps me getting rid of stiches: Breathe in through your nose three times and then breathe out of your mouth three times. Then you should keep that breathing rhythm until the stich is gone.

  • I get them on race day seemingly no matter what. I practice eating before training and do very intense workouts and never get them. However, no matter what, come race day I’m running (also swimming) through a stitch. I can’t figure it out. My guess is for me it has to do with nerves

  • I get a side stitch everytime i run.. and it moves from my lower abdominal area up to my ribs and then up to my shoulders.. nothing is working. Could i prevent the side stitch with sport tape? thanks!

  • Im a Muslim and im going on the pilgrimage to mecca it consists of walking from mecca to other cities so Im super scared especially the heat aswell. Cheers for the vid mate

  • I get it often in horse riding, I went to a show today and I got a really painful stitch whilst cantering but I couldn’t stop because their was horses behind me. I don’t know how to stop stitches

  • I drink atleast a gallon of water each break in football and I got football practice in like a hour and I’m fucked cause I drank a bunch of root beer ����‍♂️

  • I’ve been learning so much with your videos, Harry. I’m a beginner at running, I’ve just been running for 2 months and in my first weeks, I’d get side stitches every time I was running. I still have a side stitch sometimes but it’s not very often… I still don’t know how to breathe properly but I’m much better than before. It’s amazing that I couldn’t even run for more than 3 kilometers without stopping and know I can for more than 15k, I’ve been making so much progress and your videos are really helping me, so thank you.

  • Hi i am running pace is 6:21 min per kilometre..when i start to run faster..it gives me immense pain @ near to lever area..kindly advise

  • Just begun running my 30 min run before training after some injury rest and its been really frustrating that I can barely jog for 5 minutes without the cramps returning making it hard to breath. Hope this helps me thanks!

  • Great advice, I’ve got a half marathon coming up next week and speed training has really been affected by these stitches. Thanks for the video:)

  • Side stitches were the bane of my running when I run competitively in high school and college. They were mostly on my right side under my rib cage. Very painful, they would leave me doubled over in pain at times. What did I do to avoid them? Don’t eat during the 2 hours before training. This didn’t always work but the theory was that it had to do with the diaphragm and you didn’t want the weight of your food pull on it while running. During running, I changed my breathing so I would breathe out upon my left foot hitting the ground. The theory was that the liver would pull down on the diaphragm just as it was trying to move up if you breathed out on your right foot impact. Lastly, if I did get a stitch, I would stop running and press my fingers hard under the rib cage in the area of the pain. This would lessen the length of the stitch though not the intensity of the pain. It would go away in less that 5 minutes. I can’t say if the first two tips helped but the third one I would say did work to some extent.

  • i use abdomen accented breathing. while inhale expend your abdomen area keeping abdomen muscles a bit tight. exhaling the same squeeze air out of you using abdomen.

  • I’m just glad to know that it was just a side stitch.I thought I had something on my gallbladder or liver.Thank you for the tips. Now, I can sleep well and will continue running.

  • Median Arcuate ligament release (MALS) can also be the reason you are experiencing a stitch sensation because there is a narrowing of the celiac artery which enables proper blood flow.

  • I did it! I ran my first 5K. 33:24 (for context im a 49 year old that hasn’t run in over 25 yrs) I think the world record is safe lol ��. I wore my shirt that says I run for my wife (who used to be a runner but lupus has changed that for her). I didn’t stop once and had a lot of hills. I ran near my house since it changed to a virtual race due to COVID. I did everything I wanted except break 30 min but there’s always next time. Thank you to the running channel and everyone that commented. I am now going to tell people I’m a RUNNER! I’m so glad I started this and hope to continue for a long time.

  • I’ve always found that ramming my fingers into the spot and then bending over normally gets rid of the issue. Always works for me with a persistent stitch. Otherwise, if it’s a light one then I do just run through it and often goes away.

  • How To Prevent A Stitch? Damage your sewing machine, throw away your thread and needles, send tailors and seamstresses into unemployment

  • In a race it helps to have the experience and confidence to know that it is not an injury, that whilst painful you can maintain pace, and if you push through the pain it will go away after a km or so.

  • I really appreciate the effort but this lady is in a hurry!
    Someone is chasing her and after completing this video she might have to run!��

  • I used to struggle a lot with this problem in the past. That’s why I learned to normalize my breathing while running. 2 steps normal and fluent inhalation. 2 steps hold your breath. 2 steps normal exhale. After a while this becomes fully automatic. Another good idea is to strengthen your digestion. Since I have been taking probiotics on a regular basis, these problems have been eliminated.

  • I never get one when I run in the morning on an empty stomach. But once I eat something, i could wait 3 hrs and I’ll still get a damn stitch!