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Pain while running

I have been running for quite some time and have had some issues with pain.
I get cramps, similar to very uncomfortable and painful menstrual cramps and cannot figure out what is causing them. After walking for a while they subside but come back after I begin to run again.
Pain in the left upper chest, to the right of my shoulder. This also happens while doing aerobics.
Please let me know if you have had similar problems or know what could be causing it. I'm a 25 year old female at an average weight.

Sun. Jul 9, 11:37pm

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While I can't comment on your specific pain, as I haven't had it (I tend to get a stitch (cramp) on my right rib when I haven't been running for a while) I can say this, as someone who just took up running this year:

a) stitches or cramps in your side, (above waist) go away after time.
b) ensure you're not crossing your arms in front of your chest when you swing them. Arms at sides, not across chest.
c) shoulders back, tuck butt, make sure your feet are pointed straight. When you do this, you're in better alignment, and you should have less pain over all. A key thing to proper running form is not to be leaning forward or hunched over, or having your shoulders rolled forward.

C was the most important thing for me in reducing pain while running. I've been sick for two weeks, but decided I couldn't take not running anymore, and so I went for a run tonight. Sure enough, I got a stitch in my side, as I hadn't been running for a while. So I had to slow it down for a while. Give me another week and I'll be fine :) (And I'm 25 and average weight too)

Monday, July 10, 2006, 2:59 AM

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I would pay attention to your form as the 2:59 poster suggested. I'll also throw out there that you need a good pair of shoes to help keep you in proper allignment. The shoes (if you use them frequently- more then 3 times per week) should be replaced ever 3-4 months. This seems like alot, but it is very important to have a good pair of shoes with the proper support- running shoes are not designed to last along time, so you have to replace them. Go to a running shoe store and have an associate help you find the best shoe for your foot.

The other thing I would suggest for your cramps is to pay attention to when your eating and to your bowel movments in relation to when you run. Are you eating and then running? Have you had a movement before your run? Do you have one right after your run? It could be the increased physical activity is causing you to cramp because your intestines are either trying to work at that moment (and the blood needed to digest food is instead carrying oxygen to your entire body). When you stop running your body is able to relax and send the needed blood for digestion to your stomic and intenstines. Or your intestines could be full. If you find you do have an issue related to this cause, increase fiber to your diet (Eat things like bran, fruits, and vegetables. FYI- Celery is one of the highest fiber content veggies. Avoid things that will bind you up before a run like rice, meat, and potatos.)

Monday, July 10, 2006, 12:38 PM

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I think it could be eating close to the time you run also. If you have an abnormally quick heart beat or irregular heart beat you might want to address this with your doctor. Don't forget hydration, if your not properly hydrated cramps may also occur. Happy running!!


Monday, July 10, 2006, 1:24 PM

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i agree w/ the above poster - although you're young and healthy, there are some inherited heart problems that you definitely want to rule out, especially if your pain is located in the left chest.

another possibility is asthma. i was having chest pain and irregular heart palpitations with intense exercise. all of my heart studies were normal. it turned out i had exercise-induced asthma. the symptoms improved after i got an inhaler.

Monday, July 10, 2006, 2:03 PM

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i would see a physician.

Monday, July 10, 2006, 3:39 PM

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painful cramps while running

I know exactly what you are talking about, and I have suffered with this also for the past several years. It is totally unrelated to when I have eaten or not eaten, and has nothing to do with my form. It is a pain that occurs in my lower abdomen about 10 minutes or 1 mile into my run and it is so overwhelming that I have to completely stop running and often crouch down. If I walk very slowly for the next ten minutes, it will go away, but only after going through a lot of pain.

When this first happened several years ago, I finally asked my doctor and it turned out that I had an ovarian cyst that was eventually removed, so I would look into that. However, even after having it removed, I continue to have that pain. If you or your doctor come up with a solution, please let me know, as I haven't been able to find one. See this link also:


Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 11:21 PM

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if the cramps you are feeling are side stitches- it's all about the the breathing. you're not getting enough oxygen. make sure you breath deep, inhaling completely, and then force all the air out of your lungs. this almost always makes mine go away.
also, though fiber is essential for a healthy digestive track, eating fiber too close to a run (think 2 hours) can causes troubles. this does depend on the person though.
as for the chest pain, i'm not sure what causes it but i get it too. you should probably see a doctor about it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 11:50 PM

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Pain in the left upper chest? I know you think you are too young for this, but see a physician and get checked out for angina.
That is definitely NOT menstrual cramps!

Thursday, November 16, 2006, 8:29 AM

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See a doctor

I would say that any chest pain associated with aerobic exercise needs a doctors attention, just to be sure. Go to the doctors and get a stress test. That way you'll be certain either way.

Saturday, November 18, 2006, 11:46 AM

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I'm not sure why people have started talking about chest pain and regular side stitches on here. I know exactly what you mean. I started getting a menstrual like cramp when running last summer. Far more painful than your average side stitch and not related to form, tecnique or the kind of shoes I have at all. I don't know if there is a health/medical reason for this but I did wonder if it had something to do with my eating habits/hydration before running. I run recreationally 6-7 months out of the year - April - Oct and it seemed to only happen in the summer months - when it was hot. I've chalked it up to dehydration/eating crap like dairy before running/pushing myself too far in the heat. I haven't been able to find any concrete answers on other posts either.

Thursday, May 03, 2007, 1:08 PM

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