The Agony Of Side Stitching


Lately, I have been having agonizing shooting pain below my rib cage, in my right side in particular whenever I jog for a long period of time. I ignored it the first time I felt it, thinking maybe I didn’t stretch properly or maybe my body was dehydrated; but then I kept having it for the last couple of days. I got terrified. I thought that there was a problem in my liver or the fact it might have got “larger”. However, I thought I would search for it in the Internet first. And after playing around with some words on google, I finally got to understand what I was having; it is called “Side Stitch”. I found that the liver (the heaviest organ) was the culprit because it pulls downwards on the diaphragm and causes a cramp and therefore a stabbing pain. Side Stitch is therefore more likely to occur in sports involving up and down actions – like running, jumping, and obviously jogging.

So I had to practice “belly breathing” and special stretch exercises that push the liver upward. Another helpful technique I employed was “pursing” my lips like I am about to blow a candle and exhale constantly while jogging. And I have to say, these techniques worked beautifully, and boosted my performance about 10%. I feel relieved now because the pain is long gone and my liver functions normally; and I have to thank Google and Internet for that.


4 responses to this post.

  1. dont drink while exercising either. running about and guzzling water at the same time makes stitches worse


  2. well, I am amazed you didn’t know about such type of pain any earlier.. however, I do recommend some Calcium supplements.. and I am not talking about dairy products.. I am talking about Calcium pills.. one pill / day after breakfast for 5 days a week “you rest for 2 days then resume on the next week” .. you should be on this course for 1 month or so .. and I am sure you’ll get rid of this pain..

    Moreover, I do recommend some breathing exercises.. and incrementation of exercise.. meaning that you should stretch and do some cardio before getting ready for jogging..

    As a professional, I believe Jogging is perfect for circulation & leg muscles in particular.. so breathing exercises should be in order..

    In Egypt.. we have Calcium D3 as a commercial name for Ca + Vit D supplementation .. I do not know about what you have there.. but dig it up.. it should help with any type of cramps particularly those start when you are at rest in lower back, leg muscles & foot muscles..


  3. thats what it is! i always thought it might be a mini heart attack :p


  4. @DoDo

    That’s the last thing I could think of doing. I usually consume water before and after the run to avoid dehydration as much possible.


    It’s really nice having a blogger who is a Dr around for these kind of situations 😀

    I believe the reason that I started to have a side stitch is because I recently pumped up my jogging routine with few “halt” periods. Ca, that’s definitely make sense as we always learned about Ca and its role in the respiratory and cardiovascular system. I’m willing to take on your advice Doc, and I mastered the breathing exercises so thanks 🙂


    LOOL a mini heart attack 😀

    I wonder if there’s such a thing though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: