Persistent Side Stitches when Running

by Norma
(Cleveland, OH)

I've been running for over 25 years, including doing 5 marathons and countless other races. I broke two ribs five months. After recuperating for a couple of months I began doing regular HIT and "bootcamp" workouts (which I had done regularly prior to my accident) and started running on the treadmill. I've started running outside and I've started to develop side stitches when I run. I hadn't had a stitch in years! I'm running uber-slow (for me) and it's getting frustrating. I haven't changed anything in my routine (not eating before going for a run, for example) and I think I'm breathing the same. Any advice or insight as to why I'm getting them and what can I do to prevent them?

Nicole's reply:
Hi Norma, sorry to hear about the side stitch and I get how frustrating it is for you.
Causes of side cramps or stitches are a bit of a mystery sometimes and often it is a case of working through possible causes and hopefully finding something that is the culprit.
I do also wonder if your previous broken ribs are contributing to the problem. Perhaps you are tensing your muscles without realising in order to protect your ribs or maybe there is a muscle imbalance left over from the fracture.

Have you had a look at these 2 pages on my website:
Running Side Stitch
Side Cramps while Running
See if there is anything in the above links that might indicate the possible cause. I hope that helps and that you manage to sort the stitches out.

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