Getting a (side) stitch - Abdominal Pain
A "stitch", also known as a "side-stitch", is a sharp pain just below the rib cage, usually felt whilst exercising, e.g. running.

It is caused by a cramp in the diaphragm muscle which comes about when the ligaments connecting the diaphragm to the liver are stretched. The risk of developing a "stitch" can be reduced if you take the normal steps to reduce the risk of experiencing any type of muscle cramp. This entails ensuring your body is properly hydrated and that the diaphragm muscle is properly "stretched" before exercise. You are more likely to develop a "stitch" if you exercise too soon after eating, since the liver becomes heavier when food is being digested and the aforementioned ligaments are already stretched.

As it is a cramp, a "stitch" can be treated by temporarily reducing the intensity of exercise, (thereby reducing the work conducted by the lungs and diaphragm), and also by massaging the abdomen where the "stitch" is felt.

Stitch (?), n. [OE. stiche, AS. stice a pricking, akin to stician to prick. See Stick, v. i.]


A single pass of a needle in sewing; the loop or turn of the thread thus made.


A single turn of the thread round a needle in knitting; a link, or loop, of yarn; as, to let down, or drop, a stitch; to take up a stitch.

3. [Cf. OE. sticche, stecche, stucche, a piece, AS. stycce. Cf. Stock.]

A space of work taken up, or gone over, in a single pass of the needle; hence, by extension, any space passed over; distance.

You have gone a good stitch.

In Syria the husbandmen go lightly over with their plow, and take no deep stitch in making their furrows.


A local sharp pain; an acute pain, like the piercing of a needle; as, a stitch in the side.

He was taken with a cold and with stitches, which was, indeed, a pleurisy.
Bp. Burnet.


A contortion, or twist. [Obs.]

If you talk,
Or pull your face into a stitch again,
I shall be angry.


Any least part of a fabric or dress; as, to wet every stitch of clothes. [Colloq.]


A furrow. Chapman.

Chain stitch, Lock stitch. See in the Vocabulary. --
Pearl, or Purl stitch. See 2nd Purl, 2.


© Webster 1913

Stitch, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Stitched (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Stitching.]


To form stitches in; especially, to sew in such a manner as to show on the surface a continuous line of stitches; as, to stitch a shirt bosom.


To sew, or unite together by stitches; as, to stitch printed sheets in making a book or a pamphlet.

3. (Agric.)

To form land into ridges.

To stitch up, to mend or unite with a needle and thread; as, to stitch up a rent; to stitch up an artery.


© Webster 1913

Stitch, v. i.

To practice stitching, or needlework.


© Webster 1913

Stitch (?), n.

An arrangement of stitches, or method of stitching in some particular way or style; as, cross-stitch; herringbone stitch, etc.


© Webster 1913

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