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Jun 2, 2013

Abdominal 'Stitch' 101

I was recently at a dinner party with some of my most dear friends… conversation was flowing over red wine and slow cooked lamb (which was unbelievable I might add).  Amongst the gossip, general banter and chat about the budget (NOT who actually talks about that over dinner) we got into a discussion about training for upcoming events such as the city 2 surf, half marathons and general gym sessions… and this question emerged…. What is an abdominal ‘stitch’?

Now I’m a physio and I found myself trying to explain to my friends what it is, however realising it’s actually an unusual phenomenon to explain… So I will attempt to dispense this information (hopefully in a way you can all make sense of) now…

Unfortunately  there is no one definitive explanation for this somewhat frustrating experience that turns your Sunday afternoon sweat session into a stop start stroll that barely gets your ticker going! There are, as always, several proposed and very convincing theories!

An abdominal ‘stitch’ known in the medical world as exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP) is the name we give to that sharp, often agonising pain felt just under your rib cage that literally stops you in your tracks (usually during running or high intensity exercise)

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Categories General Issues Tags stitch abdominal pain running exercise runners stitch