Running is a pain in my … side.

I hate to run. However, I have never found a better form of exercise. It burns fat in all the right places, and maintains my cardiovascular fitness. But I still hate it.

I have run into many small pains, annoyances and injuries over the course of the last five years in which I have been forcing myself to run, the worst of which being a stress fracture. All the rest if these “pains” were just a reason for me to stop running. But I did not, and I am the better for not quitting. I have had many questions why running, for me, at least, is so injury prone. Muscle strains from over use and cramps from being dehydrated seem to be the top two in juries on my list.

But what causes that searing pain in your side when you run?

Ask Yahoo! answers:

A side stitch is a piercing sensation just below the ribcage, usually felt when you’re running. In the past, several different theories tried to explain the cause: trapped gas, swollen liver, stomach muscle cramps. However a recent and fairly conclusive theory holds that strain on the ligaments connecting the liver to the diaphragm is the cause.

The liver “hangs” from the diaphragm by fibrous bands called ligaments. Running exerts a steady downward force on your liver, stretching these ligaments. In addition, when you exhale (usually as your left foot hits the ground), your diaphragm is pushed up. That means your liver falls with gravity as your diaphragm rises, placing considerable strain on those poor ligaments.

To alleviate this pain, Ask Yahoo! suggests that you stop running immediately and place your hand just below the pain to push your liver back in to place. Just the thought of that makes me cringe. As for me, I will put my arms of over my head and continue to jog until the pain goes away, or I fall over. Whichever comes first.

About Ron

I am the father of two wonderful boys, and the husband of one wonderful wife.
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