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Avatar universal

Low abdominal pain when running

I just wanted to see if anyone has experienced some of my problems. I am a 27 year old female; I am in a pretty good shape. I exercise regularly and for the last 3 months I have been running 3 to 5 times a week for 2 miles. My problem is that sometimes I would get very severe LOW abdominal pain when running.  Sometimes is on the right side, sometimes is on the left side. It does not happen all the time, though. I worm up and increase my speed gradually. I am not sure if I should I see a doctor about that. If anyone has had anything similar, please share. Thank you!
267 Responses
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Are they cramps or stitches?  These happen more often if you eat within the few hours before a run and/or if you don't breath properly.  Side stitches are a good indication your running too fast.  If your going to eat prior to exercising keep it light and eat slowly making sure you can digest smoothly.  If you experience abdominal pain or cramps when running slow down to walking speed and stretch out the muscle.  Exercise Related Transient Abdominal Pain (ERTAP) is something everyone encounters and is really nothing to worry about but if your still concerned there's no harm in consulting a physician.
Avatar universal
i'm a 20 year old female and latley i've been experiencing the exact same thing, I was searching it on google to see if it was normal and i know what you mean by LOW. I've been running for quite a while and it has recently been happening. The pain is unbearable and sometimes brings me to the point of screaming into a pillow. My mom has wanted to take my to the hospital because shes seen how much pain I am in but it goes away after awhile. I'm just wondering as well if anyone else has had this and knows what it might be. its definatly not stitches it could be cramps but i've never experienced anything like it. I cannot explain how much it hurts and how theres not way to stretch or position your body to lighten the pain. I sound so dramatic with it but i just came back from a run where it happened and the pain is fresh in my mind any help or info would be greatly appreciated because it truly is unmanagable
Avatar universal
I was treated by a physical therapist many years ago who gave this condition a name. Or course, I can no longer remember it.  It usually occurs when the heart rate is elevated quickly, and has to do with the bloodflow through the arteries to the legs. The only thing to stop it is to walk and slow the heart rate down.  Constant stretching of the groin is supposed to prevent some of it.  I used to get it after running hard sprints in high school and it still bothers me to this day.  I have been able to run 5 miles at a time, but I have to start very slowly.  I also noticed that if I stopped for 10 minutes and started up again the pain did not come back. An empty bladder is crucial to the problem as well.
Avatar universal
I get severe abdominal pain during a certain point of my menstrual cycle when I am running but not when I actually have my period. It also happens when i am running outside, and seems to occur after I reach a certain level of exertion that i don;t seem to get to when i go to the gym. I'm 27 and have had this problem since i got my first periond, and it's only an issue for about two weeks of the month. It can come on during the run, or when i am walking to cool down. I have never had a baby, but it feels like contractions might...its a dull, indescribable pain that leaves me shaking and wanting to go the bathroom etc etc. When it eventually dissipates, it goes in waves, until about 30 minutes after my run it is as if nothing happened (feeling normal feels like bliss at this point)....never met anyone with this problem...a doctor put me on the pill for it once but that didn;t really help.....
Avatar universal
I am agreeing with everything that VeryPinky is saying. My cramps go away after about 10 minutes and walking, but I still have a vague feeling of the cramping for several hours afterwords.
I have seen a sports doctor, but he has not been able to diagnose anything.
The cramps only appear about two weeks before my period, and then disappear when my period begins. I do quite a bit of physical exercise, but am most consistent with road cycling and running. I never have the cramps when I am cycling (even when I do 1.5hrs of steep hills), but only feel them when I run.
I have had this problem since I first got my period (I am now 22), and my sisters have a similar problem but don't do enough physical exercise to be able to notice a pattern for themselves. I have done quite a few tests of the lower abdomen (enema's, x-rays, ultrasounds,...) and nothing comes back conclusive. One of my other sisters has also been tested a little. but again nothing.
If anyone has any thoughts on how the menstrual cycle ties in to this whole issue, I'd be willing to hear it. If it can be regulated to some extent by diet, I'd like to hear that also.
As for physique, (not sure if that would make a difference), I am 5'10, well built, strong, and basically have not a lot of extra fat (sometimes a little though)...
Avatar universal
I don't know if your problem has been fixed yet. I was just going to throw in my 2 cents. I had similar problems when I would run back in highschool. I had chronic pain that would present itself when I would run for about a mile fast or 3 miles at a slower pace. The pain was just left and below my lower abdominals (right around where my hips/legs make a crease).

After about a year of trying to figure out what it was, I finally found out that it was a tight psoas muscle. I was still hitting growth spurts at the time and one PT I talked to theorized that the muscle wasn't growing as fast at the rest of me. At 27, I doubt growth spurts are the cause but it could still be a tight or cramping psoas muscle.

I would suggest trying to stretch it out a bit more before/after you run if this sounds similar to what you have.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
I agree with VeryPink. She described it perfectly. I'm 26 years old and I get this pain sometimes when I push myself a little harder than usual. It's not the typical muscle cramp. Sometimes it's so bad I have to stop running and kneel/sit down in order for the pain to subside. It definitely feels like contractions, and it is sometimes accompanied by nausea, and the feeling of fainting if I don't rest. The pain usually goes away 10-15 minutes later. Taking deep breaths seems to make it worse. I have these pains during, after, and before my cycle. So I have no idea what the cause is. I just know I want it to cease!
Avatar universal
I'm 28 and I have these exact same cramps.  I thought I was the only one, and people look at me like i'm crazy or stupid when I try to explain it, but it completely floors me.  I roll around on the ground in agony for about 10 minutes then I can get up and be perfectly fine.  But for the 10 minutes its like giving brith.  I've also had an ultra sound.  I've made sure that im hydrated. Ive tried morning workouts, evening workouts, eating, not eating, everything.  I get them from cycling, hiking, running...anything where i exert myself to much to fast.  I think a long slow warm up is key.  which isn't always convienent.
at least now i can show this to my husband so he won't think i'm crazy!
Avatar universal
I am a 21 year old female and get the same cramps when running! It seems to come on when I reach a certain level, around a mile or two.  It is the worst pain ever and if I dont run though it, it just gets worse.  For me if feels like I am having bad contractions and the pain spreads from my lower abdomin to my lower back.  It is such a terrible pain and I have seen two doctors about it that have no idea what it is and have just tried to put my on the pill..I need help!!
Avatar universal
The most common reason for lower abdomina pain while running:
Exertion of your abdominal muscles
Connected with Periods
Infection inside
Stones in the kidneys
Idiopathic: No reason and something to do with your ergonomics, like surface you run, shoes you wear, position of your back etc.
Physiotherapist/Fitness expert can help you in determining most of the cases and condition other than this you have to visit a Doctor.
Take care!
Avatar universal
I'm 44 and have had the exact same thing for about 7 years now. My cramps start w/in the first 20 minutes of jogging or biking, particularly if I exert myself too much too fast. As soon as I feel them coming on, I stop and walk for about 10 minutes, then I seem to be okay. If I try to jog thru it, the pain is so bad I think I'm going to pass out and my insides are going to fall out. It feels like I'm giving birth. If severe, all I can do is roll around on the ground until it passes - which usually takes 20 minutes and subsides in waves. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat or when I workout. But, I am starting to think a slow warm up is key. Alternating jogging and walking for the first 20 minutes seems to help.
Avatar universal
Please check your mineral balance as, if you are low in Potassium/Magnesium you get cramps. Also have a balanced diet and have sometimes fresh fruit juice after the work out and it helps as it has the required minerals and vitamins. Try to control and do the exercise which suits you and all types of exercises may not be suitable to everyone. Always think and try to find out better avenues of exercise which do not exert you but allows you to lose calories . Take care!
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