Like shin splints, side aches are also a very common occurrence for anyone who runs. The painful muscle spasm or cramping on the side of your abdomen, just below the rib cage, can leave you grabbing your side and hunched over the affected side. Although there is no conclusive reason as to why side aches occur, most believe that it is due to when the diaphragm spasms or cramps from the jostling of the pounding motion in combination with improper breathing techniques. Much like a leg cramp, the diaphragm can lack blood flow with the contractions while working and cause the spasm to occur.
So what can you do if you get a side ache?
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.