Floating Rib and Stitches

Do you suffer stitches while running?

Do you experience stitches only during hard workouts?

Getting a stitch shouldn’t undo your workout.  A simple visit to a Chiropractor could help you breathe easier.


The Back Story

It all began back in 2006 when I got pregnant with Kayla (my first).  There was this strange pain in my back but towards the side.

Having mentioned it to the Doctor at the time, he simply said that because you are pregnant, your ligaments become a lot looser and that it was most likely related to that.

I never thought much of it at the time.  The pain came and went, but I could never sleep on that side (my right) for too long.

The years past and the pain was always there.  This dull ache.  It was annoying.  Some days I would hardly notice it, other days it was worst.

Spring 2011 I took up running and fell in love with it.

While I have had my fair share of (mild) injuries, one thing that I would occasionally obtain where stitches.

I remember on one training run, in July 2016, I was running down the mountain out in Halls Gap, and got this massive stitch.  It literally took my breath away and reduced me to a walk. Having not had a stitch in ages, I pondered what caused it.

Talking to my coach at the time, we decided to concentrate on my breath and slow down my pace while running downhill.  That helped for a while, but it didn’t solve the problem.

Later that year, I took myself to the Chiropractor for an issue with my neck.

During my full body assessment, he told me one of my floating ribs was out.

“A floating rib?!” I had never heard of such a thing.

Floating Rib

Floating ribs are a real thing.  They’re the ribs that come from the spine, but don’t attach to the sternum, hence the term ‘floating’.

While pregnant, my rib must have come out of alignment.

It took 10 years with an unrelated issue, where I discovered such a thing exists and can be treated.

Having put up with the pain for over a decade it was strange to feel ‘normal’.

The Planted Seed

Didjun Skin & Body do amazing massages, and I had booked myself in to see Amanda for a treatment, earlier this year.

During my visit, I was telling Amanda all about my floating rib. She knew of the issue, as I always told her I had pain there.

During our discussion, she asks me if I had any issues with breathing. At the time I said no.

She also mentioned that no amount of muscle manipulation would help solve the problem.

The Revelation

A few weeks ago I noticed that the pain was back.

With Canberra coming up I figured I would just put up with it and see the Chiropractor after my event.

Then it happened.

While out doing a tempo run, I got a stitch.  Having not had one in forever I forgot how annoying and painful they are.

Upon returning from my run, I had a lightbulb moment.

Surely not? Could the stitches I’ve been getting while running be related to my rib issues?

When the pain came again during another tempo run, I knew they had to be related.

The Outcome

Canberra is now a distant memory, and my body has had apply rest time, so I booked myself in to get corrected.

During my visit, I advised Tyler that my rib is out and that I have noticed during my speed sessions I’ve been experiencing stitches.

He confirmed that yes, a floating rib can affect your lung capacity and breathing.  Hence getting a ‘stitch’ during my speed intervals.

A higher intensity workout means that your body is working harder to get oxygen to the muscles.

Fixing the rib meant that I could breathe easier, and thus no more stitches.

So if you regularly suffer a stitch during your workouts, then I recommend a visiting a chiropractor and get that ‘floating’ rib put back into place.