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Exercise-induced Abdominal Pain ‘Stitch’

EFFECTS 20k
SEVERITY 3/5
LIKELIHOOD 3/5

What are stitches when running?

First things first: what is a stitch when running? Medically, stitches are known as ‘exercise-related transient abdominal pain’ – a bit of a mouthful!

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Stitches usually cause a sharp, stabbing pain in the side, although some people also describe it as cramping or pulling just below the ribs. It can also cause pain in the tip of your shoulder.

They usually happen on one side of the body, and more often than not, they come out of nowhere. One minute, you’re cruising along enjoying the trails or heading for a PB, and the next moment, you’re doubled over in pain. There’s no doubt about it, stitches are extremely frustrating – and sometimes, they can even ruin your race.