Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Simon Hai » Tue, 20 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Any quick solution (like stretching) to stomach cramps when you're running
or is the best bet just to try and run through them.

Any solutions would be appreciated (for next time it happens)

AJ
--
*---------------------------------------------------------------------*
| I used to be undecided,  | Simon Haigh, BHP Information Technology  |

*---------------------------------------------------------------------*
 Disclaimer: Both me and my boss have absolutely no idea what I'm doing

 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Cameron Mart » Thu, 22 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>Any quick solution (like stretching) to stomach cramps when you're running
>or is the best bet just to try and run through them.

>Any solutions would be appreciated (for next time it happens)

>AJ
>--
>*---------------------------------------------------------------------*
>| I used to be undecided,  | Simon Haigh, BHP Information Technology  |

>*---------------------------------------------------------------------*
> Disclaimer: Both me and my boss have absolutely no idea what I'm doing

AJ,

Whenever I get "stitches" during a race, I find that the best way to
alleviate the condition is to inhale until my lungs are fully expanded
while expanding my stomach muscles to make an "egg belly."  Then I exhale
forcibly while tightening my stomach muscles as hard as I can.  I may
repeat this three or four times if the cramping is severe (yes, this
looks as funny as it sounds).  The pain won't fully dissipate
immediately, but keep running- it'll pass before you know it.

Cameron

 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Tim Bu » Thu, 22 Feb 1996 04:00:00

try putting your hands behind your head (like for a sit-up) and
streching your elbows back for 10-15 secs, I don't usually stop
running for it...

                tim

 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Dan Empfie » Thu, 22 Feb 1996 04:00:00


<snip>

Truly a godlike post.  State of the art medical advice, as always.

QRman

 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Mark A. Jenkins, M.D » Thu, 22 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>Subject: Stomach Cramps - any solution?

>Date: 19 Feb 1996 20:46:55 GMT
>>Any quick solution (like stretching) to stomach cramps when you're running
>or is the best bet just to try and run through them.

>Any solutions would be appreciated (for next time it happens)

>AJ  

Abdominal pain in runners is a very common problem. The two most common
areas involved are the abdominal wall muscles ("stitch") and the
gastrointestinal system. In the former, cramps occur as a result of very
vigorous breathing and are thought to be related to decreased oxygen
supply to these muscles. Usually, slowing down and grabbing or massaging
the affected muscle will alleviate the pain. Triathletes have the added
burden of having to exercise in 3 different body positions. The change
from one sport to another can put sudden demands on a muscle group that
may not have been as extensively used in the preceding sport.

Gastrointestinal (GI) complaints take a variety of forms -- eructation
(belching), flatulence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, intestinal
cramps, and stomachache. Running causes more GI complaints than swimming
and cycling. In some studies on marathon runners and triathletes, up to
40 - 50% experienced some form of GI complaint.. While not everything is
understood about why this happens several concepts have emerged from the
literature. Dehydration contributes significantly to GI disturbances,
especially when >4% of body weight has been lost, and the pre-race diet
is very important.

A few points about dehydration. The maximum rate of gastric emptying, and
thus absorption, during exercise is approximately 800 ml per hour. The
maximum sweat rate can average close to 2 liters per hour. Thus even if
you hydrate as much as possible during a race you still can't match
losses.
Hyperhydration (drinking 400 - 600 ml of cold water 10 - 20 minutes
before exercise) can help delay dehydration. Cold liquids are emptied
from the stomach at a faster rate than fluids at body temperature. The
greater the volume in the stomach the faster the rate of emptying -- up
to a point. This is reason behind the recommendation to drink every 10 -
15 minutes. However, too much volume in the stomach gives the
uncomfortable sensation of a "full stomach". Another important point is
that gastric emptying is delayed by simple sugars -- a 10% glucose
solution can decrease the rate by 50%. The delay appears to be due to
osmolality. Linking the glucose molecules into larger chains decreases
the osmolality and may improve gastric emptying. This is the reason so
many sports drinks have maltodextrins and other long chain polymerized
carbohydrates. Studies have demonstrated that many of these commercial
products have equal hydrating properties to water. Iso- and hypotonic
liquids are good for hydrating, but athletes should definitely avoid
hypertonic solutions.

With respect to pre-race diet, a 1992 analysis during a 1/2 Ironman
revealed some interesting features related to GI complaints. All of the
triathletes who had eaten within 30 minutes of the start vomited while
swimming. If the pre-race meal (eaten anytime) had a higher fat or
protein content, vomiting was more common. Hypertonic beverages caused
more severe GI symptoms during the race. All of the triathletes who
experienced intestinal cramps had eaten fiber-rich foods in the pre-race
meal.
Another study looked at carbo loading in the days prior to exercise. One
group ate the traditional pasta and rice diet, while another group ate
less, but substituted the difference with a maltodextrin drink
(supplement). Both groups had similar muscle glycogen concentrations
(muscle biopsy) and treadmill times until exhaustion, but the supplement
group had less GI complaints.

Minimizing residue in the upper digestive tract may benefit some who
suffer during a race. Some athletes will accomplish this by supplementing
with a high carbo beverage, and decreasing their intake of fiber and
"heavy" foods the day before and the morning of a race. It is important
that caloric needs not be compromised. Another factor is that most
athletes adapt and have less GI complaints as their training progresses.
There certainly is no one right answer for everyone, but hopefully more
info will come to light with time. Severe, progressive GI symptoms may be
signs of a more serious problem and athletes are advised to consult their
doctor.

        Mark A. Jenkins, M.D.

        http://riceinfo.rice.edu/~jenkins

 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by KingLoui » Sat, 24 Feb 1996 04:00:00

My suggestion.

Concentrait on breathing correctly, and go a little faster.

Louis Pelissier

 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Berni » Sat, 24 Feb 1996 04:00:00

A good way to reduce stomach cramps is pass a healthy wind, or
to be totally crude, fart!
 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Tammy Ever » Sat, 24 Feb 1996 04:00:00

If the cramps aren't food or water-related, it's probably a breathing
problem. My foolproof, always-effective solution: inhale deeply when the
foot on the OPPOSITE side (to the side of your stomach that has the cramp)
strikes the ground. Exhale the next time the same foot strikes the ground.
for example, if you get a cramp in your right side, inhale, then exhale,
every time your left foot strikes the ground. It takes a minute or s to
work, but it does work. It's a good way to regulate your breathing as
well. If you have cramps on BOTH sides, I'm afraid you're on your own. :-)
This happened to me once during a race, when I'd been running all-out for
a couple of miles, and all I could do was run with my arms akimbo, the
fingers of each hand digging into each side. I'm sure the spactators
didn't know what the hell I was doing. :-)
 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Frazer Worley, #909980 amaz » Sat, 24 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
>Any quick solution (like stretching) to stomach cramps when you're running
>or is the best bet just to try and run through them.

>Any solutions would be appreciated (for next time it happens)

  I normally get 'stitches' when I've run too soon after having eaten. I'm now
pretty careful about not running for like a couple of hours after having eaten.
This goes for swimming to - remember when you were a kid you were told not to
swim after eating - same sort of thing .... just a bit more disturbing if you
cramp in the water :-)

-F

---


 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Richard Eustac » Sat, 24 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Any quick solution (like stretching) to stomach cramps when you're running
> or is the best bet just to try and run through them.

I used to get bad stomach cramps, now I don't, but I never really
figured out what casued them or why they stopped. I just
know the shorter and faster the race, the more likely they are.

Here are a coulpe of ideas.

1 read mark jenkins site on abdominal pain
  (http://riceinfo.rice.edu:80/~jenkins/)

2. do lots of stretching before the start

3. Read the webrunners faq about alternateing which foot you
   breath in/out on.
   (http://www.webrunner.com/webrun/runfaq/)

4. do a short/fast multisport training session once a week.

Good luck

Richard

PS.
5  take up Ironman distance. Should give your body enough
   time to adapt.

 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by ANNIE314 » Tue, 27 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Okay - so what's the rest of the story?  How many times do you stop on a
10 k run to relieve your cramps?  My body know exactly when it's bowel
evacuation time - 2.5 to 3 miles into the run.  Training runs I just try
not to do anything urban (and am happy I don't have to drink metamucil).
Race day I start out with one Immodium (for a sprint - two for Olympic
distance) and have also found that taking a bolus of iron supplement the
night before can help.  I have resigned myself to never getting rid of the
problem and resorted to *** to assist my coping mechanisms.  Good luck.
 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Dave Agge » Wed, 28 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Quote:


>Subject: Re: Stomach Cramps - any solution?
>Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 17:42:34 -0500
>If the cramps aren't food or water-related, it's probably a breathing
>problem. My foolproof, always-effective solution: inhale deeply when the
>foot on the OPPOSITE side (to the side of your stomach that has the cramp)
>strikes the ground. Exhale the next time the same foot strikes the ground.
>for example, if you get a cramp in your right side, inhale, then exhale,
>every time your left foot strikes the ground. It takes a minute or s to
>work, but it does work. It's a good way to regulate your breathing as
>well. If you have cramps on BOTH sides, I'm afraid you're on your own. :-)
>This happened to me once during a race, when I'd been running all-out for
>a couple of miles, and all I could do was run with my arms akimbo, the
>fingers of each hand digging into each side. I'm sure the spactators
>didn't know what the hell I was doing. :-)

Two articles or notes in recent Runners' World suggested that to prevent
stitches, you should breathe in rhythm with your running cadence, using an
uneven count (eg. in-2-3-4, out-2-3, in-2-3-4, out 2-3 etc). The idea is that
at the commencement of exhaling is the point in a breath that places the
greatest stress on the internal organs. This is exacerbated by starting an
exhale on the same foot fall each time you breath. By using an uneven count,
your exhale begins on alternating sides. Works for me. I haven't had a stitch
since I started using the technique.

Anyone have any info, science, anecdotes, premonitions, or experience?

Dave Aggett
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

 
 
 

Stomach Cramps - any solution?

Post by Joel Sylveste » Tue, 05 Mar 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
> >If the cramps aren't food or water-related, it's probably a breathing
> >problem. My foolproof, always-effective solution: inhale deeply when the
> >foot on the OPPOSITE side (to the side of your stomach that has the cramp)
> >strikes the ground. Exhale the next time the same foot strikes the ground.
> >for example, if you get a cramp in your right side, inhale, then exhale,
> >every time your left foot strikes the ground. It takes a minute or s to
> >work, but it does work. It's a good way to regulate your breathing as
> >well. If you have cramps on BOTH sides, I'm afraid you're on your own. :-)
> >This happened to me once during a race, when I'd been running all-out for
> >a couple of miles, and all I could do was run with my arms akimbo, the
> >fingers of each hand digging into each side. I'm sure the spactators
> >didn't know what the hell I was doing. :-)

I read about the breathing-on-one-side idea, tried it and it worked. It works
so well I've forgotton which side I used to get the cramps (we call it 'stitch'
in the UK). Now I do all my running breathing in and out on my right foot.

Only problem is....

I now get stitch if I breathe any other way, which means I have two breathing
patterns, in-Rfoot-out-Rfoot, or in-Rfoot-out-in-Rfoot-out. At some paces I
either suffer oxygen starvation, the opposite problem which I can't remember
the name of just now, or stitch.

My foolproof method is to slow down a little, and then maybe some more. If I
slow to a halt it always goes!

Joel