Intense Stitch

I've been running for nearly 10 years now, training and competing. But recently I have been suffering from a very intense stitch shortly after I start running (about 2 or 3km in). Now I know all about the regular stitch and breathing etc, but this is a very intense stitch just under the bottom of my right rib, its so painful it usually causes me to immediately stop running and curl up in pain. If it is less intense I can usual slow right down and jog through it but it is still very very painful, not bearable at all. 

Does anyone have any theories as to why this is happening? I have been training less than usual due to work commitments but that shouldn’t be an issue really. I don't eat for 2 hours before training either. I will finish a training session but not be tired because I couldn’t run at full capacity because of this stitch. Its incredibly frustrating!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • Hi LJ, 

    I had the same thing late last year, while ramping up for a HM earlier this year.

    It would come on suddenly at about 3 miles, week after week. One day on a tempo run I just gritted on and kept going. It felt almost as if something "popped" and it went way in 100 yards or so, never came back.

    Sorry I don't have an explanation, just my experience. All I would say is that I get a few back niggles here and there, some of which transfer to the front and my ribs (getting old) so I just put it down to that.

    I was/am in no mood to hand another multiple of £40 to a physio/osteo to keep me running month in/out so adapt my training/expectations to suit.

    Let me know how you get on...

  • Hi

    I'm in the same boat and have been for a year or more off and on, but recently it just won't go away at any decent pace runs and more so the races.

    I get inflamed and a lump appears just at the edge of my ribs and tender to touch.  I've tried a power breathe and don't really see much difference with it, I've been 10 miles in on a HM and had to stop a couple of times during the race as it's so bad, on 10km or less i can just handle it but need to slow down.

    I recently found a sports mesage therapist who did some work on the area and now waiting to go back for more, I was advised this from a physio at the VLM.... Sometimes wonder if I've done some damage I need to take a while off, but it's not easy not getting a run image

    I just hope there's some expert reading these posts that can help us!!!!

  • This sounds similar to what i have suffered for last 3 years and rest seems to make no difference.  Mine comes on after just 1mile which is very frustrating and i have tried numerous different methods to try and stop it but with no joy.  I can feel my lower ribs at that side are loose and think it is this aggrovating the tissue around them.  I can walk for miles without it being an issue but the impact from running must trigger it.  I was a keen runner before i fell pregnant and never had this issue but since trying to get back into it this has been a continual problem. 

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