Have you heard of exercise-related transient abdominal pain or ETAP? That’s just some fancy name for a side stitch, which is something that can bug you whenever you are engaging in vigorous physical activities, most especially running and jumping. It’s not a fun thing because of the cramping or stabbing sensation that it brings.
A side stitch strikes when various organs in your abdominal region tug at the diaphragm as you exhale — the opposing forces that take place in the area is what causes the characteristic pain of a side stitch.
Usually, a side stitch will go away on its own right after discontinuing the physical activity that you are doing. However, it is not all the time that such can be one, such as when you’re right in the middle of an athletic competition. Often, you have to choose between living through the sheer pain and putting up with the consequences of quitting.
Well, the choice completely depends on you. But when it comes to dealing with a side stitch, everybody agrees that it’s a problem that can be effectively managed. So if you are constantly bugged by a side stitch, continue reading. Below are some of the most effective home remedies that you may try for managing this common issue.
Change the Way You Breathe
Taking repeated short breaths is a terrible idea when a side stitch is attaching. That’s because it’s something that will only leave your already stressed out diaphragm even more stressed. What you need to do instead is to alter your breathing pattern — the best for the job is taking slow and very deep breaths.
Stretch Your Diaphragm
Just like when any other muscle of your body is cramping, stretching the diaphragm can help a lot in making a side stitch go away ASAP. All you have to do is raise your arm that’s above the side stitch, and place your hand behind your head. Using the fingers of your other hand, gently press on the spot where there’s a cramping or stabbing feeling.
Get Your Posture Corrected
When running and you’re already tired, you tend to slouch forward, which is something that can increase your risk of a side stitch attacking. And when it does strike, you should correct your posture in order to keep it from worsening or lasting longer than it should. Sometimes changing your running stride can help as well.
Avoid Having Your Tummy Crammed
Especially if you are prone to having a side stitch, it’s not a good idea to engage in any strenuous physical activity with your stomach full. This means that you should refrain from consuming lots of foods to stay energized or glugging down plenty of water to maintain proper hydration about a couple of hours before the physical activity.
Remember to Warm Up Always
You can keep a side stitch at bay simply by prepping your body for all the running, jumping and other arduous things you have to carry out. Make sure that you do some stretching exercises for 5 to 10 minutes and do enough warm ups. If possible, gradually increase the intensity of the activity you’re engaged in, such as when exercising.