Here's the real cause of side stitch and how to get rid of it

Does it often hurt during sports? Here is the true origin of the side stitch.

Here's the real cause of side stitch and how to get rid of it

Does it often hurt during sports? Here is the true origin of the side stitch.

“Stop, I'm in pain, I have a stitch in my side, I have to slow down”... Who has never heard this phrase during a running session or during a long hike? Few athletes have probably escaped it. Very often, after starting intense and constant exertion, you can feel quite strong pain in the rib area. This sudden and acute sensation, often described as a "stabbing", can be present in different areas of the abdomen, most often located on the left or right flank, or even in the shoulders or collarbone.

Most of the time, this side stitch disappears as quickly as it appeared after a break in exercise, but be careful not to confuse your side stitch with a cramp and of course, if you regularly have a side stitch , you should think about consulting.

But where does this side point come from? The reason is generally simple: the side stitch "occurs when breathing is neither natural nor controlled, nor in line with its level", explains sports doctor and exercise physiologist Xavier Bigard, in Ouest France. The exact cause of the side stitch at the physiological level is, however, debated. “The pain could be linked to poor vascularization of the diaphragm in relation to an inappropriate respiratory rate,” explains the specialist. “If that muscle doesn't get enough oxygen, after a while its tissues are going to hurt.” Unless it is due to "a blockage of the venous return to the liver (right) or to the spleen (left)"...

But during your sports session in any case, the origin of the side stitch is often linked to starting your activity too quickly. The side stitch can also be due to poor posture, poor breathing, too weak abdominal muscles, or too large a meal before sport (be sure to respect a 2-hour delay between the meal and the start of the workout). effort.) Each time the conclusion is the same: remember to prepare yourself well before any physical activity. Sport cannot be improvised!

To stop a side stitch, there are several techniques and everyone can find the one that suits them best. For example, you can lean forward while gently compressing the painful area with your hands. Breathe slowly and deeply. It is also possible to stretch gently, leaning towards the side opposite the pain. Warm up properly and adapt your breathing to the intensity of the exercise, making sure to exhale fully. Know that the more endurance you have, the less chance you will have of suffering from a side stitch because it is by running that you train your diaphragm.

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