Throughout my life, whenever I've gotten started suddenly on exercising (as when returning to swimming or soccer seasons in high school, or water polo in college), I've gotten stitches in my ribs (also other pains elsewhere like shinsplints).
I started Crossfit three weeks ago, yet despite the intense workouts, I haven't had a single rib stitch. The only thing that's different right now is my paleo-style diet - and I also soak a few days per week in Epsom salt baths.
Is this enough to prevent the stitching entirely, or am I just not working out hard enough to get the stitches? I wrap every workout breathless and exhausted from head to toe, but no stitches.
With playful due respect, focusing on the negative symptoms and side effects that are not part of your exercise experience, seems kinda like "Really having a fantastic time here on Maui but can't help thinking about whether it might start hailing soon." Seriously, focus on what's working. Let trouble find someplace else to hang out. :)
A side "stitch" is thought to be a spasm of the diaphragm, possibly related to movement of internal organs such as the liver and the spleen.
I have also heard (and tend to believe that this is a more likely cause) that it is caused by the fatiguing of the intercostal muscles (found between your ribs) related to improper breathing and thoracic alignment.
Therefore, you may have avoided experiencing this phenomenon during your current Crossfitting endeavor because you are now moving with better alignment/awareness and breathing more correctly than when you were younger.
The rib stitches are not caused from being out of shape, its normally a muscle issue which can be fixed, i've had mind done a couple times by an AT. or they can go away.
I normally get them however I only get them on long runs, not sprints or CrossFit style workouts unless it is long run based WOD.
Also used to get shin splints but only on fast long ruck marches in the army, those too went away with stretching and time.
I doubt it's paleo, and I never thought of it until your post, but I've been plagued with stitches all through my high-school and college running. But when I gave up running and switched to CrossFit-style workouts, I never got stitches. I've been doing HIIT for 5 years and paleo for only 3, so it can't be the paleo that got rid of them. I do go hard enough to puke after (some) workouts, so it's not an intensity thing, it's just a different style of workout that doesn't cause stitches.
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