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Old 02-25-2005, 13:47   #1
GirlWithGlock
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Side Ache While Running...

While running on the treadmill (or outside), I get a side ache almost every time. Not always in the same place, but sometimes it's bad enough that I have to cut my run short and walk the rest of the time.

I'm wondering if anyone knows what may cause this or if they know what I can do to prevent it from happening.

Thanks in advance.
Carla
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Old 02-25-2005, 14:23   #2
k2ue
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Re: Side Ache While Running...

Quote:
Originally posted by GirlWithGlock
While running on the treadmill (or outside), I get a side ache almost every time. Not always in the same place, but sometimes it's bad enough that I have to cut my run short and walk the rest of the time.

I'm wondering if anyone knows what may cause this or if they know what I can do to prevent it from happening.

Thanks in advance.
Carla
Probably the spleen -- I used to experience that in my youth, but grew out of it. A little internet searching on pain and spleen should find some authoratative discussion of what it means, and what to do about it.
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Old 02-25-2005, 14:27   #3
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Either that, or you are simply getting side splints... I got them when I was young, but don't get them as much with conditioning. I noticed that if I didn't have a full stomach of water or anything else, I would get them less.
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Old 02-25-2005, 15:26   #4
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Dont eat or drink anything 30 mins before running. Helps me.
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Old 02-25-2005, 17:45   #5
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Thanks you guys. I appreciate the responses. I will check into the pain and spleen issue mentioned. I typically try to work out in the morning before I have eaten anything, but sometimes I do go in the early evening before dinner. I'll have to pay attention to if there is a pattern as to when it's worse.

This may sound like a stupid question, but I don't know your ages. When you say you "grew out of it", at what age was that? And also when you mentioned "when I was younger", what age was that?
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Old 02-25-2005, 17:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by GirlWithGlock
Thanks you guys. I appreciate the responses. I will check into the pain and spleen issue mentioned. I typically try to work out in the morning before I have eaten anything, but sometimes I do go in the early evening before dinner. I'll have to pay attention to if there is a pattern as to when it's worse.

This may sound like a stupid question, but I don't know your ages. When you say you "grew out of it", at what age was that? And also when you mentioned "when I was younger", what age was that?
I was referring to "growing out of it" in my 20's (I'm now 59).
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Old 02-25-2005, 18:02   #7
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Thank you, k2ue.
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Old 02-25-2005, 23:48   #8
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I used to run a lot and I would get side pain frequently. Then I started stretching my abdominals before running and doing ab work on my days off. This seemed to help. There are several ways to stretch your abs. Make sure you stretch the side areas where you are getting pain. Also make sure your breathing is correct while running, it could be your diaphram.
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Old 02-26-2005, 21:29   #9
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ubimow...That could also be the culprit. I am definitely guilty of not stretching enough before a run. I do run on my every-other-day weight-lifting days for about 20 minutes, but run 30-40 minutes in between weight-lifting days. I'm going to pay more attention to if it's worse on the days that I'm not lifting weights first.

Again, I appreciate the suggestions. Hopefully I'll figure it out soon.
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Old 02-27-2005, 20:33   #10
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I am 26 now, "younger" for me means when I was a teen. I used to get really bad side splints in wrestling practice. When I started drinking room temperature water, and less of it, during practices, and gained the conditioning to control my breathing as I ran, I didn't have the problems as much.
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Old 02-27-2005, 23:09   #11
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It's a common symptom for runners...go to runnersworld.com or just google "side stitches"
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Old 02-27-2005, 23:53   #12
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Yes, if sounds like a classic "side stitch". This is caused by a cramping of the diaphragm, the muscle that lies just below your lungs, and powers your breathing.

A couple of things that help:

1) Breathe more deeply, letting your belly move in and out as you breathe.

2) When you exhale, blow the air out through pursed lips.

If the pain persists, do this: take a medium breath, and hold it. While holding it, push your belly way out. Then, let your belly "suck in" while you lift your chest up high. Basically, you are using the air (in the breath you are holding) to stretch you diaphragm back and forth. So, think about moving the air into your belly, then up to your chest, back to your belly, etc. This will stretch and relax the cramping in your diaphragm. BTW, this can be a great stretch to do at bedtime to really relax before going to sleep.

As your overall conditioning improves, the stiches should go away.
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Old 02-28-2005, 20:07   #13
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Thank you for the tips! I am new to running so this makes sense. (A few weeks new.) I was mainly using the eliptical machine but wanted to change things up a bit so moved to the treadmill. I never get these "side stiches" doing any other physical activity, only the running. Hopefully between reading more about them and getting a little better conditioned with the running it won't happen as often and eventually not at all.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:48   #14
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Willard, the same advice you gave me was given to me today by a personal trainer at the gym. Worked great!! I was able to run the entire time today keeping the side ache at bay using that exact breathing technique. Thanks so much!
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Old 03-01-2005, 18:15   #15
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Good advice here already on breathing and streching...

I'll add that the longer you run, the less frequent they'll become. If you continue to run 4-5 days a week, in 6 months you'll have forgotten what a sideache feels like. You can also condidtion yourself to eat and drink moderatly immediatly before running and not be affected. If you're running in the AM on an empty stomach, you might be faster/feel stronger if you ate 200-300 cals beforehand.

Also, doing a lot of ab work the evening/day before can also be a major factor. It's the only thing that can still give be a sideache.

My breathing meathod is to blow out forcefully when the foot on the opposite side of the ache hits the ground. Concentrating on breathing distracts from the pain and forces you to use the diaphgragm. If it's so bad you have to stop, stop, streach your whole torso, and start again slowly. It's better than having to walk....
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Old 03-01-2005, 19:16   #16
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I find that if I eat anything within 2 hours of my scheduled run I will usually get a stitch in my side. When I was a beginner, I usually had to wait 3 hours after a meal before running. Hope this helps.

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Old 03-01-2005, 20:40   #17
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Funny, that I have been running off and on for 30 + years (I'm 55 now). Side pain was frequently an issue if I drank water within 30 minutes or so before running. My running had been, for the most part, on the streets. A couple of years ago, I began running some of the hill trails here in Phoenix (T-Bird Park). To cover the 3 hills (about 9 miles) I run, I do need to drink while running. While doing this, I have never experienced side pain. Point I'm making is that I'm wondering if the constantly varying pace, speed, and grades makes a difference....maybe it's the redundancy of the repetitive movements on flat surfaces that contribute to side pains?
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:42   #18
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. Putting all of this together has helped me a lot. It's already getting easier to get through my run, and even run longer. I appreciate all of your input! Thanks again!
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