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side cramps when running

I have begun going to the gym over the last two months. I like to walk/run on the treadmill and would like to be able to run more on the treadmill, but I seem to be limited as to how much running I can do because I get a really bad cramp in my right side. Because of this I basically alternate between fast walking and running. Does anyone know why my side cramps up and how can I get rid of it and run for longer periods of time?

Sun. Mar 5, 2:23pm

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My friend told me it's from a sac that's on your right side. If your body's not used to jiggle around for running and walking, then it won't be happy. So basically, she said, I just need to condition my body. If you walk/run a lot, then eventually the sac will get tougher and be able to substain longer runs. If you are hurting, though, just try to slow down a bit. That's what I do. :)

Sunday, March 05, 2006, 3:05 PM

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stretching helps. Make sure you really stretch out your side before you run. It usually goes away once your body gets used to the running but in the meantime, stretch. (arms clasped and extended over head, lean slightly to side, until you feel stretch, hold 30 sec)

Sunday, March 05, 2006, 3:17 PM

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Hang in there! I used to get that cramp (also on the right side!) really bad. I just kept VERY gradually increasing my distance and I drank MORE water. I don't know if the water was part of the solution or not but I don't get that cramp anymore...knock on wood. And I am running my first 5k this month. Yay

Sunday, March 05, 2006, 4:15 PM

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when running it's better to drink at least an hour before the run, and minimally if at all through it. Water sloshing in stomach not so great. If you need to drink while running- sip it, don't chug it.

Sunday, March 05, 2006, 4:23 PM

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Hello. Side "stitches" are common with running. I have run for over 20 years competitively/professionally and have managed to avoid them most of the time. The pain is usually caused by a cramp in your diaphragm, gas in the intestines, or food in the stomach. If you get a stitch on your right side (which is more common), slow down for 30 seconds then push your fingers deep (in and up) into your gut just below the ribcage while exhaling and bending over almost to 90 degrees. Straighten and repeat. Do the same if it is on the left side. If this doesn't work then stop and walk until the pain subsides. It may be a sign that you are doing too much too soon. For more answers to your running questions write

Sunday, March 05, 2006, 4:33 PM

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Thanks for all of the great advice. I used a mix of the advice today while running and ran for 17 min. straight compared to my previous record of ten min. Also, I slowed down after 17 min. due to overall exertion rather than side cramping alone. Thanks again

Monday, March 06, 2006, 6:29 PM

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Kiss your knees. It's worked for me since I was 2. Something about the motion or stretching a certain muscle, I don't know, but it's NEVER failed me.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 12:49 PM

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My ex boyfriend used to make me "run it out" when I got side cramps. I could kill him while I was running in pain but he was right: they went away after a few moments and I got a full run in.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006, 2:39 PM

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make sure you keep hydrated. i found out when i was running for awhile and had that happen it was because i did not get enough water during the day. once i drank more they got better after a few times

Thursday, March 09, 2006, 10:31 AM

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side hurting!

If i go to the gym or on the trampoline after i eat then my side "HURTS" IT DOESN'T REALLY CRAMP. it just hurts if i do any type or running,jumping, etc. after i eat. What is that??

Saturday, April 22, 2006, 10:33 AM

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make sure you BREATHE

I heard once that cramps were due to lack of oxygen. Ever since then, when I run, if I find myself starting to get a cramp, I make sure I regulate my breathing. Breathe in for 4 steps, then breathe out for 4 steps. Keep that up until your side feels better. Slow down a little, too, if necessary, until you can fully catch your breath. That works for me!

Saturday, April 22, 2006, 12:28 PM

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