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A stitch, otherwise known as exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP) is a pain felt in the side of the abdomen (and sometimes the tip of the shoulder) brought on by physical activity. It can be quite intense and feel like a sharp, stabbing pain or cramping/aching sensation. Stiches are harmless but can stop you in your tracks due to being so painful.
There are many theories as to what really causes a stitch to occur. Some of the theories include:
The following may help relieve a stitch and allow you to continue your run/activity:
If you have any questions and want to know more, contact one of our CSSM practitioners.
Ella Hanna is a Physiotherapist with a keen interest in sports injuries, running injuries, neurological conditions such as stroke, and post-surgery rehabilitation. Prior to joining CSSM, Ella worked in an acute hospital in Sydney where she further developed her interest in neurological physiotherapy. She is fascinated by the nervous system and how it interacts with the musculoskeletal system and the entire body.
Bee, P. 2017. How to avoid a stitch. Retrieved from https://www.greatrun.org/news-and-media/blog/how-to-avoid-a-stitch.
Johnson, C. 2017. What causes a stitch when you exercise and how you can stop it. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-11-01/9089048.
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