Abdominal Pain after Running

Abdominal Pain after Running
by George Ponting | January 2, 2013

One such problem related to exercising is abdominal pain after running. People who may have been running for years may also experience it so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem with your technique even though it may be related to that. However, abdominal pain after running is a very common problem and a lot of people experience it. Additionally, this problem can get worse if not taken care of, something that is usually done by identifying the root cause and then finding a solution to it. Here is a brief overview of the possible reasons this pain may be occurring and various solutions for it.

A “Stitch” in Your Side:

This is one of the more common origins of abdominal pain after running, a situation which is described as having a stitch in your side. This is basically as a result of pain in your abdominal walls. It occurs due to very vigorous breathing and is thought to come about because of a decreased oxygen supply to your muscles. A common solution to this problem and one which brings about relief from the pain is slowing down for a little while and bringing down the intensity of your run to a jog until you feel the pain finish or your breathing becoming more relaxed. Additionally, grabbing the area where you experience the pain and massaging it slowly in circular motions is also found to be effective by most runners.

The Gastrointestinal System:

Another common area where abdominal pain may originate is the gastrointestinal system. Complaints of pain from this area may be the reason behind a lot of symptoms like eructation (belching), flatulence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, intestinal cramps, and stomachache.  Research suggests that running brings about more pain in the GI system as compared to activities like swimming and cycling which is why athletes in a triathlon need to be careful when switching from running on to these activities. Additionally, dehydration is also a major reason why pain in the GI system might come about. Lastly, abdominal pain after running may be affected by the diet you consume before the run as that has a direct impact on your gastrointestinal system. For example, hypertonic beverages in the diet bring about more pain in the GI system whereas a high level of fat or protein is one of the main reasons for increased vomiting.
Basic solutions:
The only way you can find a solution to abdominal pain after running is by identifying the factor which brings it about. Apart from that, a few general things that need to be kept in mind are as follows:

  • Make sure that you always stay hydrated. Carry a bottle of water or a drink like Gatorade in your running bag and make sure you have it with you every time you go for a run.
  • Avoid hypertonic drinks as they bring about an imbalance in the fluids and nutrients in your body.
  • Make sure your diet isn’t very high in proteins or fats.
  • If you have trouble breathing, decrease your running speed for a while.

Sources:
http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/abd.pain.html
http://fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/3986/how-to-avoid-stomach-cramps-after-running
http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/ask-doctor-lower-abdominal-pain-when-running

About the Author - George Ponting

George Ponting remains up-to-date with General Fitness! From a young age, he has been extremely keen on and passionate about learning about the best ways to remain fit. George is full of tips, advice and suggestions in the field of fitness! Stay tuned to our General Fitness Section to receive the hottest Fitness information

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