Have you ever been out on a run, played a sport, or just simply exercising when all of sudden you started feeling intense stabbing pains in your side? These are commonly referred to as side stitches or side cramps. Technically these are called exercise related transient abdominal pain, or ETAP for short.
Over the course of the next few posts, we’re going to talk in depth about side stitches. We’ll cover what they are, what causes them, and even how to avoid them. If you are searching for affordable personal fitness trainers in Raleigh NC, call CrossFit Invoke today. Ask us about our free classes for beginners!
What Are Side Stitches?
Side stitches are fairly common among most exercisers. People at all fitness levels have at some point or another suffered from them. Research was conducted in 2005 studying 848 participants of a 14K race in Australia. These results were then published in a 2005 issue of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Research showed that 27% of the runners and walkers in the race suffered from side stitches while competing. 46% of the runners and walkers that felt the pain reported that it was only on their right side. Finally, the age group most associated with side stitches appeared to be in their twenties and younger.
The causes of side stitches have been well debated. However, researchers cannot find the real root causes. Some believe it has something to do the upward and downward force being put on the abdomen simultaneously when running from heavy breathing and constantly pumping your arms and legs. Yet, swimmers suffer from side stitches as well, and the same downward and upward force is a non-factor in this sport. Others believe it has something to do with eating the wrong types of food, or drinking the wrong kinds of fluids before exercising, but nothing has been really proven to be 100% accurate.
All we do know is that side stitches are common and non life threatening. If you’re experiencing these types of pains only when you are exercising, and it completely goes away when you are resting, and you are in good health, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. However, if the pains continue after exercising, you should see a doctor.
We hope this information will help you better understand side stitches, and to not freak out when they occur. Be sure to read part two of this series where we cover how to prevent side stitches. Want to take your fitness to the next level? Keep reading to see how CrossFit Invoke can help you invoke your inner athlete!
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CrossFit Invoke is the number one choice when searching for the best personal fitness trainers in Raleigh NC. When you want to push yourself and get in the best shape of your life, make the call to us. CrossFit Invoke even offers free fitness classes so you can come out and see what we’re all about without any obligation at all. When you’re ready for a new challenge, give us a call or just drop in!