Stitches Why You Get Then & How To Prevent Them


As an expert Personal Trainer Los Angeles i get asked about stitches all the time, so i felt i wanted to address the cause, prevention and cure of these unpleasant things!

The most common, a “side stitch” is a sharp, intense pain under the lower edge of the ribcage caused by a muscle spasm of the diaphragm. This is surprisingly common amongst people who jog or run, and is usually experienced by folk that are new to this type of vigorous exercise. This is mainly due to an untrained/ unaccustomed pace, stride and breathing capacity, which is limited due to lack of conditioning. What actually happens, is that when you inhale air into the lungs the diaphragm moves downwards, and upon exhalation it moves upwards. When the diaphragm has gas trapped below it, this can cause it to cramp and a pain occurring under the right side of the rib cage. This is because the trainer is training at a level that their body is not accustomed.

How to prevent stitches

The simple answer is to get better conditioned. When your breathing capacity is under-conditioned, the diaphragm remains in a high position and does not lower enough to permit the connective ligaments of the liver to relax. The diaphragm is overworked and this causes a “stitch”. It is always best to warm-up before engaging in any type of cardiovascular activity, this will give your breathing capacity a time to adjust to the workload and prevent many potential injuries from occurring. Also work on building a strong core, through doing core/functional weight workouts ( SEE MY ARTICLE MACHINES v CORE), and work on the abdominal muscles. A strong core gives the body more support and limits the possibility for stitches occurring. Don’t eat a heavy meal within 2 hours of activity, instead keeping it to a light snack such as a protein shake, or fruit and some raw almonds, which can be eaten about an hour prior to activity. Keep water to about 2oz every (10) minutes of activity, as drinking too much will or can give you cramps (stitches).

What to do if you get them

If a side stitch occurs during your activity stop. Regulate your breathing to be deep and consistent, while keeping your arms straight above your head.

Enjoy the great outdoors!

If you are in the Los Angeles area and you would like a complimentary one-on-one assessment with Personal Trainer in L.A. Nicholas Barrett, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Personal trainer Los Angeles. Los Angeles personal trainer. Personal trainer marina del rey.

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