Abdominal stitch (lower left side)


I have had on and off issues if something that feels like a stitch in my lower left abdomen (you might have seen previous threads). It is not like a side stitch on the right hand side, I rarely get these.

I have just come back from a 7 mile run, and I got it intermittently all of the way around, it was quite a steady run but can't work out why. The last food I had was 2 and a half hours ago. And the last drink about 3 hours ago.

Could something linked to dehydration?

I have been experimenting with what could cause it, I do not think it is a hernia or anything like that as I am doing core stability work and it cause no problems.

If anyone has any ideas let me know.



  • Suggest you seek medical advice from your GP on this one.

    As you have mentioned hernia, last year I had to have a hernia repaired. I was not sure what it was at the time and I was also doing core stability work 3 times a week and one long run  a week. Having seen my GP and a consultant I was told I could carry on training whilst waiting for repair as it was not causing me any problem when training. In fact it only gave me problems when sitting around.

    Judging by previous threads this has been affecting you for a while and will be playing on your mind. You really should see your GP, if only to give you peace of mind.

  • I now have an appointment booked in for this for ultrasound as it got worse, strangley enough it only seems to cause problems when running on flat and down hills, much worse going down hills though.
  • Andy, Glad to see you have taken medical advice on this. My hernia was only fully diagnosed after an ultrasound. The hospital consultant I was referred to after seeing my GP was not fully convinced what the problem was and sent me for an ultrasound.

    Good luck with the scan and I hope it all goes well, whatever the diagnosis turns out to be.

  • Thanks Shoe Bert. It is really strange as I am generally fine, but within 5 minutes of running I get the pain again. I tried running on Wednesday and only last a quarter of a mile before it kicked in, as soon as I stopped it was fine again (apart from a dull sensation). Very frustrating either way as I have not done a proper run in 3 weeks now. Had to drop out of some 10ks I had lined up too.
  • Had ultra sound today and no sign of a hernia???? Back to the drawing board and back to the doctors. Might try a run again tomorrow to see what happens.
  • Tried and run and it did not hurt??? Only did a few k this time and took it easy, but also made sure I was really welll hydrated througout the day. Could this make a difference??
  • Hi,
    I've been having the same issue for a while, I'm not sure if it's the exact same problem but I'm thinking that it could be trapped wind that seems to be brought on by the action of running. Once i burp it does seem to go away a bit.I'm going to see if they've got any advice at the running shop tomorrow. I'll let you know if i get any further with it. It's super frustrating though.
  • Thanks Joel. If you do find anything out it would be great to know.
  • AndyL78AndyL78 ✭✭✭

    I am still having fun and games withthis issue. It is still very hit and miss as to when it happens. Did the park run this morning and it happened after 3k. The strange thing is as soon as I stopped it went again! Doctors said to keep an eye on it an go back if it gets worse.

    I think I am going to do a food and drink diary and keep tweaking things until I get to the bottom of it.

     If anyone does have any ideas let me know.

  • hi,

    i'm really interested to read about the pains you're experiencing.  For the last couple of weeks I've been getting a random pain in my lower abdmonan on the left hand side when I run. There seems to be no pattern. I've managed to get an 8.5 mile run with no problem - then on other occasions it's started around 2.5 - 3 mile.

    I'm warming up okay, eating plenty, allowing enough time afterwards before i embark on the run, and running pace doesn't seem to bad. On the latest occasion it kicked in whilst pushing up a hill at quite a slow pace. The pain increased with the incline and by the time I got to the top I could barely run.

    I was left in so much pain I had to abort the run, no sooner as I got home my abdomen felt okay, so I then went out for another 3miles.. and it began to twinge again (2 aborted runs in the same day - not good!)

    Last year I did the London Marathon and although i'm still new to running, I never had any training injuries - admittedly I can tell i'm not quite as fit as last year, but cannot fathom why this pain had begun.

    Now i'm concerned that this is going to happen at the half marathon next weekend, and whether I should run at all? I'd hate to let myself down and my running buddy.. but not sure if it will make it worse..

  • AndyL78AndyL78 ✭✭✭
    Sounds like we are in the same boat. I went for another run today only 8k but had no issues at all... confusing eh.

    I am going to start keeping a diary of food and drink as I think it is hydration issue. I read somewhere if you run often you should be on at least 2.5ltr a day.

    I will keep you posted with how I get on and hopefully it will give you an idea. Likewise if you figure it out let me know.
  • I also get this and it is usually very intermittent.
  • AndyL78AndyL78 ✭✭✭
    It has been a while since I spoke about this issue... but here is the latest (over a year on since it started)

    - referred to physio and after much investigation they think it is a muscle spasm (activating or deactivating), so had physio and not much change

    - then referred to extended scope podiatrists, they have given me new insoles (as I have flat feet), so currently testing things out with them

    - been for MRI and that has come back clear so no hernia, micro tears, muscular damage, etc. However, the specialist did say no harm in ramping up the running as no damage is being caused. I did this and strangely after the pain kicked in I carried on running and it went again after putting up with 10 minutes off it???

    Last run I did was actually okay, I bought a new pair of trainers and am using the insoles, so will see how it goes from there.

    All very confusing but I continue to investigate.
  • AndyL78AndyL78 ✭✭✭
    It gets more and more weird, having done about 10 runs over the last couple of months and no issues, then I go out running this morning and POW, it kicks in again.

    If anyone has any ideas on the terms of what can be done to limit this it would be greatly appreciated.

  • AndyL78AndyL78 ✭✭✭

    The saga continues. More physio and more things to try... the latest suggestion is hammering core strength. So I have started pilates and working the core a lot.  Lets see if this makes a difference...image

  • I'm having exact same problem! So annoying! Any more to report?
  • Hi Angie,

    Yes, it has continued to be an odd situation, I have had a lot of improvement by doing more core work (I did not do much before) I also find that better prep (warm/stretching) and in cool down also makes a difference.

    My last two 10k races and a fair amount of training (3 to 4 times a week) has been alright. Although my last session at the gym it did come back but I was my fault really as I was short on time so just hopped on the treadmill mill and went for it.

    I have noticed on some occassions when I have been out running I have started to feel it start to go into a spasm/cramp but then by doing some trunk twists whilst running seems to stop it kicking in. I look a bit of a dive whilst doing it but if it works I will keep doing it.

    So I haven't totally figured out but I am making a lot of improvements.

    What are the sort of problems you are having?


  • Hi Flatfoot13, i am also suffering from this problem. Sometimes it may come on only after a few minutes, and sometimes not at all. Just wondering if you've had any improvements, and if so what helped.

    P.S I know you mentioned core work, and a sufficient warm up and cool down, just wanting to see how things are going now?  image

  • AndyL78AndyL78 ✭✭✭


    Interestingly enough I have seen improvements. I am currently training for the Hadrians Wall run (69 miles in 2 days - which is causing me all new problems, see me other thread about aching feet) and I am finding that as I am getting better conditioned the issues are becoming less.

    I suppose I eventually took the decision (rightly or wrongly) to run through it and see what happens. A specialist said it should not cause any damage so I gave it a go.

    Over the last 3 weeks and about (circa 17 runs) I have only had the issue about 3 times. I am also finding that the better I prepare (warm up, cool down and stretch) the less it gets. The other think I am finding helps if that whilst running if it does start to go into spasm and do trunk curls on the move and this sometimes captures it before it kicks in.

    I do not think there is an miracle cure, and I ma sure that I will have it again but I am now getting to the point where I no longer worry about it and generally able to manage if it kicks in.

    Also I have been working ont he core, not enough as I should be, but managing   around once a week to do stability exercises and that seems to compliment things

    I guess my only advice is keep experiemneting with things and work out a system that works for you. 

  • Could it be a possibility that it is a common side stitch, as i do hear that core strengthening and stretching can help prevent stitches, and by putting two and two togethor with your results it would seem that it could be a possibility. In my case it does infact feel like a stitch. I also seem to be improving by not giving into it, however i have just been walking and swimming at the moment (was even getting the pain while walking previously), will see how running goes in a few weeks after a few weeks of solid and regular core strengthening and stretches. Cheers image

Sign In or Register to comment.