When Running Right Side Hurts

As a runner, feeling a sharp pain on the right side of the body – commonly referred to as a “side stitch” – can be an incredibly frustrating and discomforting experience. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned runner, this issue can interrupt your training and make it difficult to enjoy your runs. In this article, I’ll delve into the causes of right side pain while running and share some tips and strategies to prevent and alleviate this discomfort.

Understanding the Causes

When I first experienced the sharp pain on my right side while running, I was perplexed about the potential causes. After researching and consulting with fitness experts, I learned that several factors could contribute to this discomfort. One common reason is diaphragm irritation, as the diaphragm is involved in the breathing process during running. Additionally, dehydration, improper breathing technique, and eating too close to a run can all play a role in causing side stitches. Furthermore, running at a high intensity or increasing your pace too quickly without proper warm-up can also trigger this issue.

Prevention and Solutions

To address this problem, I have implemented several strategies that have significantly reduced the occurrence of side stitches during my runs. Firstly, maintaining good hydration throughout the day, especially before a run, has been crucial. Ensuring proper posture and breathing technique while running has also made a noticeable difference. I’ve found that practicing deep belly breathing and gradually increasing my running intensity has helped to prevent the onset of right side pain.

Another valuable tactic has been to avoid consuming large meals or snacks immediately before running. Instead, I opt for light, easily digestible snacks at least an hour before hitting the pavement. Engaging in core-strengthening exercises, such as planks and side bends, has also contributed to minimizing the discomfort during my runs. It’s important to note that identifying the specific triggers for side stitches may require some trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time to find the most effective prevention methods for you.

Seeking Professional Guidance

If the right side pain persists or becomes increasingly bothersome, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional or sports medicine specialist. They can offer personalized advice and may conduct tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to the discomfort. It’s always prudent to address persistent pain with the guidance of a qualified expert to ensure one’s safety and well-being while pursuing running or any form of physical activity.


Experiencing discomfort on the right side while running can be a frustrating obstacle in one’s fitness journey. By understanding the potential causes, implementing preventive measures, and seeking professional guidance when needed, it’s possible to mitigate and overcome this issue. As I continue to incorporate these strategies into my own running routine, I have found that the frequency and intensity of right side pain have significantly diminished, allowing me to enjoy my runs with greater comfort and freedom.