Cuts the side: how to prevent pain while jogging

Today, there are different theories about how and why this unpleasant pain appears below the ribs or even in the abdominal cavity while running. The cause may be poor blood supply to the diaphragm, leading to cramps in the abdominal muscles. As a result, a decrease in the supply of oxygen to the diaphragm. The diaphragm plays a crucial role in breathing. When you run, the internal organs move with every step, just like the diaphragm when we inhale and exhale. This creates tension in the body, and spasms can occur in the diaphragm.

It can also be caused by nerves, improper breathing, too abrupt start, weak abdominal muscles, a full stomach, or improper running technique. While pain in the side is mostly not dangerous, it can be quite painful. And then we have to finish the run.

How to prevent side pain

Breakfast 2.0

If you are not running on an empty stomach, but some time after breakfast, try to eat something light, low in fiber and fat 2-3 hours before the start. An exception might be a small pre-run snack like a banana.

Eat something protein for breakfast, such as natural yogurt, a small amount of oatmeal. If you skip breakfast, be sure to drink water before your run.


Don’t neglect your workout! Your body needs a good warm up to prepare your body and breath for running. Try to warm up all the muscles of the body, “breathe” the lungs before you start. There are a lot of videos and articles on the Internet with pre-run exercises that are worth reading.

We are not talking about a hitch now, since it does not affect the occurrence of pain in the side. But don’t forget to stretch after your run to calm your body and relieve tension.

Slow start

No need to start abruptly. Start slowly and gradually increase the speed, listening to your body. Try to understand when it wants to run faster on its own, in no case do it by force. Side pain is a signal that your body is overloaded.

The upper body is the key

Side pain is most commonly seen in sports that involve the upper body, such as running, swimming, and horseback riding. Well-trained core muscles reduce rotational movements throughout the body, internal organs are actively supported, and you are less prone to cramps. Train all muscles in your spare time. If there is not much time, study at home on video or on the street. A workout can only take 20-30 minutes of your time.

And by the way, strong muscles not only improve running efficiency, but also prevent injury.

Strong press

In one study, well-developed oblique muscles were found to help prevent flank pain. Set aside at least 5-10 minutes a day for abs workout. This small amount of time is enough to strengthen the muscles and subsequently prevent sharp pain.

Control your breath

At increased speed, your body needs more oxygen, and irregular and shallow breathing can lead to pain. Breathing rhythm is crucial, so be sure to keep track of it. Try to breathe according to the “2-2” pattern: inhale for two steps (the first step is inhalation, the second is dovdoh), and exhale for two. There’s a nice bonus to breathing tracking: it’s a kind of dynamic meditation!

So, you prepared well, warmed up, did not have a hearty breakfast, ran, but … The pain came again. What to do to appease her?

Breathe in!

Proper breathing can help relax the diaphragm and respiratory muscles. Move to a brisk walk, inhale for two steps and exhale for the third and fourth. Deep belly breathing is especially helpful.

Push to the side

While inhaling, press your hand on the painful area and reduce the pressure as you exhale. Repeat until the pain subsides. Conscious and deep breathing is essential for this exercise.

Stop and stretch

Take a step, slow down and stop. Stretch to the sides with each exhalation. A little stretching will help relieve tension.

Get down

To relax your diaphragm and abdomen, raise your arms above your head as you inhale and then bend down as you exhale, hanging your arms. Take a few slow and deep breaths in and out.

Ekaterina Romanova Source:

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