First of all, let’s say that, as annoying and painful as they are, the twinges in the spleen are harmless. This phenomenon, which occurs mainly during running, has not yet been fully clarified from a medical point of view, because the exact causes have not yet been identified. However, some factors are supposed to favor or cause such pain:
Increased blood flow to the spleen
This causes swelling of the organ and stretches the peritoneum in the abdominal cavity. However, this explanation would only apply to the left side.
Reduction of blood flow to the diaphragm
The diaphragm becomes irritated from continual physical exertion and lack of oxygen can cause cramp-like pain.
Dilation of the connective tissue between the intestine and diaphragm after a large meal
Since athletes who train on an empty stomach also complain of spleen pain, this cause is only partially plausible. An abundant intake of hypertonic and high-carbohydrate food and drinks still seems to have a negative effect if it occurs just before exercise.
Shook during the ride
The fact that runners are more frequently subject to spleen pains than other athletes could be caused by the fact that intestinal gases migrate upwards due to the increased vibrations.
Change of pace and speed
Many runners complain of pains in the spleen in the downhill stretches, on which the rhythm of the steps changes, but also that of breathing. The constant variation in heart rate can cause spleen pain, especially for beginners.
How to avoid spleen pain?
- First of all, you should try to find out under what circumstances they occur. Maybe you recognize a causality that you can try to avoid.
- Do not take hypertonic and carbohydrate-rich drinks before exercise. Prefer isotonic drinks and drink non-carbonated water in small quantities.
- Do not play sports on a full stomach.
- Avoid excessive increases in intensity if not trained, intensify gradually, start easily.
- Prefer endurance runs at a steady pace and maintain a steady breathing rhythm.
- Periodically strengthen the trunk muscles.
What to do when the pain comes?
- What to do when the pain comes?
- The decrease in intensity.
- Walk or stop completely, inhale and exhale deeply.
- Bend your torso forward, dangle your arms and breathe deeply and regularly. Contract the abdominal muscles.
- When resuming your run, try to maintain a steady breathing rate (eg every three or four steps).