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Questions and answers about sports

What causes side stitches?

4 min read

Asked by: Jessica Quinn

What causes side stitches? The exact cause of a side stitch is unknown. Some studies show that a movement of blood to the diaphragm or muscles during physical activity can lead to a side stitch. But other research shows that an irritation of the lining of the abdominal and pelvic cavity may be the cause.

How do you get rid of a side stitch?

Here are some tips to help you stop a side stitch in its tracks:

  1. Slow down. When you’re running, the goal is to keep moving. …
  2. Practice belly breathing. Belly breathing, aka diaphragmatic breathing, requires you to slow down and bring focus to your breath. …
  3. Stretch your arms and your abs. …
  4. Push on the stitch.


What causes stitches in your side when not exercising?

There are various reasons side stitches may occur. “It is thought to be related to improper training, dehydration, incorrect breathing, weak core or pelvic floor muscles, or eating too much before activity,” says Sara Mikulsky, MD, a physical therapist and owner of Wellness Physical Therapy, PLLC in New York City.

Is side stitch serious?

A side stitch refers to pain felt on the side of the abdomen that occurs during physical activity. Though sometimes very painful, a side stitch is not harmful and does not require medical attention. Doctors sometimes call side stitches exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP).

How long can a side stitch last?

Side stitch pain will usually go away on its own after a few minutes or when you stop exercising. If your pain persists for several hours, or does not go away after you stop exercising, you may need to seek the advice of a medical professional.

What does side pain indicate?

Side pain can be a symptom of a wide variety of mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions, such as infection, infarction, inflammation, indigestion, trauma, intestinal obstruction, and cancer. Side pain can occur on one or both sides of the torso at a time.

Why do I keep getting a stitch in the same place?

There are some measures you can take that may prevent a stitch from developing in the first place. It could be that your stitch is being caused by a bad breathing pattern, postural problems, weak abdominals or digestion issues. Here are some more tips on how to avoid a stitch while out running…

When should I be worried about right side pain?

Pain in the lower right quadrant should be taken seriously if it is severe and accompanied by the following symptoms: Fever, chest pain, or a feeling of extreme faintness. Severe vomiting immediately after eating. Breathing problems.

When should I worry about left side pain?

Generally, intermittent left side pain is a sign of gas or indigestion and should pass on its own. But if you notice severe abdominal pain on the left side of your body in conjunction with any of the following symptoms, it’s time to call the doctor: Fever. Nausea or vomiting.

How do I get rid of a stitch under my ribs?

Here are some tips to help you stop a side stitch in its tracks:

  1. Slow down. When you’re running, the goal is to keep moving. …
  2. Practice belly breathing. Belly breathing, aka diaphragmatic breathing, requires you to slow down and bring focus to your breath. …
  3. Stretch your arms and your abs. …
  4. Push on the stitch.


What happens if part of a stitch is left in?

If the stitches are left in the skin for longer than is needed, they are more likely to leave a permanent scar. Nonabsorbable sutures also are ideal for internal wounds that need to heal for a prolonged time.

What happens if you don’t take stitches out?

If left in too long, your skin may grow around and over the stitches. Then a doctor would need to dig out the stitches, which sounds horrible. That can lead to infections, which, again, not good. The second reason is cosmetic.

Can I take my own stitches out?


Open up the suture removal kit the kit contains tweezers. And a pair of scissors. Use the tweezers to pull up on the stitch. Using the scissors cut the stitch once aiming for just to the left or to

Can surgical scars reopen?

Wound dehiscence is a surgery complication where the incision, a cut made during a surgical procedure, reopens. It is sometimes called wound breakdown, wound disruption, or wound separation. ‌Partial dehiscence means that the edges of an incision have pulled apart in one or more small areas.

What do infected stitches look like?

An individual with infected stitches may have: redness or red streaks around the area. tender and swollen lymph nodes closest to the location of the stitches. pain when they touch the stitches or move the injured area.