At some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced stitch – that nonspecific, uncomfortable pain in our belly we wish would go away.
If it comes up while we’re working out, sometimes it can be so sharp it forces us to stop what we’re doing.
Some of the possible causes of stitch when exercising are:
1- Insufficient circulation to the diaphragm (the muscle responsible for helping us breathe)
2- Excess tension in the ligaments of the diaphragm due to the vibrations they undergo when we are running or doing some other type of physical activity.
3- Contact between the stomach, when it is full of liquid and/or food, and the peritoneum, which is the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity.
All of these possible causes are theoretical and have not been verified 100%. But there are some things you can do to relieve the pain:
1- If you experience a sharp pain in your belly while working out, stop for a few minutes to recover and breathe. If it’s a slight pain, lower the pace of your activity somewhat. The pain will probably abate and disappear.
2- Don’t work out immediately after a meal. Give your stomach time to digest it. It has been proven that gas pain appears more frequently during a workout if you have just eaten. The best thing to do is to wait at least two hours to work out after you have eaten a meal.
3- You can massage the area of the pain if it is very sharp, to relieve it somewhat.
4- Take small sips of water, but don’t load up on the H2O, because this could aggravate the situation.
Now you know a little more about stitch pain. But bear in mind that having stitch pain is no reason to stop or avoid exercising. The pain is only temporary in all cases.
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