Get Rid Of That Stitch In Your Side With This Three Minute Fix

Get Rid Of That Stitch In Your Side With This Three Minute Fix

Any runner knows how much that stitch in your side can stop you in your tracks. Here are a few ways to fix it and keep on running.

Photo by Ed Yourdon

Nick MItchell, founder of personal training company Ultimate Performance, recommends a simple stretch to get rid of a stitch:

First, bend over for a few seconds, and touch your toes. If that doesn’t work, dig a couple of fingers into the affected flank. We don’t know exactly why these cures work, says Mitchell, but he reckons it’s something to do with the way the blood flows away from your diaphragm (in the first example), or is simply prevented from entering the pained area (in the second).

To avoid getting them in the future, he says you can avoid eating wheat-based foods like bread too close to your run. Instead, you’re better off with something like some nuts or dried berries a half hour beforehand. Hit the link to read more.

Three-Minute Fix…Stitch [The Guardian]


  • My solution: Inhale deeply and hold it for a reasonable amount of time. It’ll stretch out your diaphragm and rib muscles, where the cramp (“stitch”) is.

  • Doctor Karl found that a stitch is a tear in the webbing that holds your organs in place. They found that soldiers going to war sitting in planes or standing on boats can get stitches without even moving/having a high heart rate or reduced blood flow. I will have to try and find which podcast episode it was on.

    Moving around or digging in fingers is just an attempt to reduce the strain in the area.

  • My grandpa is a chiropractor, and he said that you lift your opposite knee of the stitch to your chin and hold for a while.

    So if your stitch is in your left, lift your right knee to chin; if the snitch is on the right, left your left knee.

    I do this when I git a stitch playing tennis or running, and it works well for me.

  • I’ve always found that i could get rid of a stitch my inhaling as much as i can, then exhaling as much as i can. But doing the process slowly.

  • Breath out as the opposite foot to the stich hit the ground and you don’t have to stop… in about 6 or 7 strides it will lessen and then go away altogether.

    • You hit the nail on the head with that one. It works every time without fail. It also helps to make sure those breaths are deep to help expand the diaphragm.

  • Don’t breathe in and out with every step – that will create the strain to begin with. Breathe in deeply over say two to three steps, and out for the next two to three.

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