How to Deal With a Stitch

A stitch is a form of cramp. It is a painful, sudden and involuntary muscular spasm that generally affects the trunk and sides of the chest. It is commonly associated with exercise and often occurs during physical exertion.


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    Remain calm. Sit down and try to remain calm.
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    Get breathing under control. If you try to focus on controlling your breathing, it will help you to relax and possibly ease the muscle pain.
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    Try the counting method. Begin by breathing in and out slowly. One way of helping you do this is to breathe in and out on your count. Counting silently, breathe in for 2 and then out for 2, gradually increase the count to 4 and then 6 if possible until your breathing has slowed down and the pain has eased.
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    Press on the pain. If you do not want to sit down, you may bend over a little, then press relatively hard on the area of pain. Stand back up in a regular position, and repeat. It will hurt to push on the area of pain, but it eventually makes the pain go away.
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    Drink water. Breathing deeply while taking small sips of water will relieve the pain.


  • Most right-side stitches are caused by pressure on the liver, which is on the right side of the thorax. As you run, try not to breathe in while stepping with your right foot. Do the reverse - breathe in as your left foot hits the ground, and breathe out as your right foot hits it. This does not mean that you have to inhale/exhale precisely as a foot hits the ground - just manage your breathing while you go along.
  • If the pain does not subside within a few minutes seek medical advice.


  • There can be no guarantee that the information contained in this article will apply to your particular circumstances. You should always seek appropriate individual medical advice.
  • Only take a drink afterwards

Article Info

Categories: Cramps