Sometimes when I begin training, I get a stitch. I'm simply wondering whether there is any issue with resisting the pain and continuing?

People say that you should listen to your body if it's signalling pain etc...

Can someone provide scientific evidence on whether it's good or bad to push through it?


It depends.

If it's induced by exercise then you may:

  • be dehydrated
  • have started off too fast
  • have a weak core
  • not be breathing fully

etc. If it's not exercise-induced, you might want to have it looked at.

Sometimes they'll go away essentially instantly if you inhale fully, bend over, stick your finger in the area of pain (not so good for butt stitches), and exhale completely. A few reps might be necessary.

If it goes away after that it's likely due to one of the reasons above, or it might just have happened for no particular reason at all. If it doesn't go away after that then take a break.

  • snicker "butt stitches"... – Sean Duggan Jun 4 '15 at 17:09

At the very least, there is no inherent harm in continuing. The pain could serve as a distraction, and some people feel that it impacts their performance, but it will not injure you to carry on.

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