Why does this happen?
There are a few reasons why you might get the odd stitch while running. It’s usually linked to either your breathing or your posture.
Your lungs need oxygen to work properly, and when you exercise, you breathe faster to take in more oxygen. If your breathing is shallow (known as chest breathing), you’re not taking in enough oxygen, and carbon dioxide builds up in your blood, which can cause some blood vessels to constrict. This can lead to a pain in your side known as a stitch.
Posture is also important when it comes to avoiding stitches. If you’re hunched over or running with your chin jutting out, it can compress your diaphragm and make it harder for you to breathe properly.
What can you do about it?
Spitting stitches is a common occurrence during running and can be quite annoying. It is usually caused by a build-up of saliva in the mouth and can be easily remedied by spitting out the excess saliva. However, if you find that you are spitting stitches frequently, there are a few things that you can do to try and stop it.
Try to relax
When you are feeling anxious, your body releases a hormone called adrenaline. Adrenaline makes your heart beat faster and your breath quicken. It also narrows the blood vessels in your mouth, which can cause dryness. Try to take slow, deep breaths and focus on something other than the anxiety-producing situation. You might also try Progressive Muscle Relaxation, a technique that involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body to help you feel more relaxed overall.
Try to swallow
When you have trouble swallowing, it may feel like food is sticking in your throat or chest or that your throat is tight. Swallowing problems can also cause you to drool, choke, or cough (particularly when lying down).
Swallowing problems are often caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) when acid from your stomach comes up into your throat. Other causes of swallowing problems include:
-Achalasia (a condition where the muscles in the esophagus don’t work properly)
-Diffuse spasm (when muscles in the esophagus contract and relax randomly)
-Esophageal stricture (narrowing of the esophagus)
-Scleroderma (a condition that hardens connective tissue)
Treatment for swallowing problems depends on the cause. If GERD is the cause, antacids may help. If you have achalasia, you may need surgery to widen your esophagus. If you have esophageal cancer, you’ll need treatment with radiation and chemotherapy.
Try to yawn
Spitting stitches, or “zipper mouth,” is a condition that can be caused by several things, including dehydration, stress, and fatigue. When your mouth becomes dry, the muscles in your cheeks and lips can’t move as easily, which can cause the sensation of a “zipper mouth.” Zipper mouth can also be caused by gum disease, teeth grinding, and certain medications.
There are a few things you can do to try to relieve the discomfort of a zipper mouth, including:
-Drinking plenty of fluids: Water is always a good choice, but you can also try herbal tea or fruit juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can make dehydration worse.
-Chewing gum will help stimulate saliva production and keep your mouth from feeling dry.
-Using lip balm will help protect your lips from the dry air and keep them from drying out and cracking.
-Yawning: This may seem like an odd solution, but yawning helps to stimulate saliva production.
Try to breathe through your nose
When you feel a stitch coming on, try to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth. This will help slow your breathing and prevent you from taking in too much air. You should also slow down your pace and focus on taking deep, even breaths.