For the past 6 months I have been running/jogging about 1.5 - 2 miles every
other day. For the past 4 times, I have gotten the worst side cramp on the left
side of my stomach near my pelvis bone. It is so severe that I have to stop.
Today, I tried fast walking and I got the cramps again. I was wondering what
causes this and what I can do about it.
Thank you very much.
Katey, side aches are common to runners. They occur as a result of the diaphragm
going into a state of tetanic contraction. Muscles often do this when they are
depleted of calcium. It usually occurs when you push real hard. Two ideas we
offer the athletes in our clinic are 1) Make sure you are really well hydrated,
especially if it is hot when you run (like it is in Texas), and 2) work on
practicing deep abdominal breathing, so that at the first sign of a side ache,
you can increase the depth of your breathing. As you get in better shape, this
too shall pass. Good luc