Can any one help me?

My wife suffers from stitches when she runs, she has tried different breathing techniques and altering her water/food intake before a run but still suffers from them.

I have been looking at the Powerbreathe system, can anyone tell me if this has helped out with reducing stitche.



  • How long has she been running for?
  • She has been running off and on for quite a few years and goes through stages where she will get stitches. She is quite active and would put her above average in fitness levels, usually her fitness runs are around 6k's, if she can get through with out a stitc.

  • All a stitch is her diaphragm cramping - due to all the internal organs which are hanging from it. The organs move down but the diaphragm moves up on exhalation - causes the diaphragm to cramp. That is the theory. Often felt more on the right as the liver is the heaviest organ.

    What she needs to do is synchronise her steps so that she inhals/exhales when to foot striking the ground is on the opposite side to the hurting side - if that makes sense! It really is that simple if it is a true stitch. That is the only thing other than slowing or stopping completely that works as far as I am aware.

    The other thing she could do which really helps is increase her core strength, particularly abdominal muscles.
  • Thanks for the advise will pass it on to her.  Hopefully she can eliminate them.

  • Thanks for asking this question Jamie,because I get exactly the same problem, and it is so demoralising! It comes on super-quick; feels like a knife's being twisted into my diaphragm, and I have to stand stock still, massaging my abdo right under my right rib cage for a few minutes, then I'm good to go again. It happens like clockwork around 4km. I'm definitely going to try your synching breathing with footsteps adviceTigerlily, thank you.

  • As I was passing two kids on the park run this morning, one said she was worried about getting stitch, and the other said "if you get stitch grab some grass and squeeze it, it really works"

    anyone heard that?

  • He he, made me smile! That's just a distraction technique, no?! Whatever works though.

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