Workouts and right flank pain: everything you can do to get better
The right flank pain is a nuisance that often hinders our workouts, especially after a stop phase: here’s what caused it and how to fix it.
Pain on the side: what to do?
Time to resume training, and also to deal with various pains due to inactivity. One of the most common pains you can experience – especially if you’re starting to run again – is the classic abdominal pain on the lower right side just below the ribs, where the liver is.
This sudden sharp, cramp-like abdominal pain is a transient phase related to exercise and rarely requires medical treatment. However, flank pain often impairs fitness performance, forcing you to stop or stop exercising.
What you may not know is that it takes very little to neutralize this annoying pain that ruins your workouts: in this article, we will explain what side pain depends on and how to neutralize it without compromising your performance.
The classic pain in the side that is sometimes felt when running or doing other exercises is localized in the liver. In reality, the liver has no pain receptors and the perception of discomfort is caused by an inflammation of the membrane and the external parts that surround it.
It is not only the physical exercise or the intensity itself that triggers the discomfort but among the major related causes are highlighted:
- Untrained and elastic core muscles
Let’s see how these three factors act, and how to behave accordingly.
Diet and pain on the right side
An overweight or unbalanced diet leads to having a greater accumulation of fat in the liver. This situation, in addition to making you tired earlier, can cause this constant pain during activity. In particular, if you eat too much and badly before physical activity, you increase the pressure on the tissues surrounding the stomach and you are more exposed to cramps and inflammation on the right side.
Correct breathing is essential to oxygenating the blood and internal organs. During exercise, it is necessary to use the diaphragm, which means that instead of breathing with the chest, you should do it with the belly. Expand your belly as you inhale air (inhale) and pull your belly in as you exhale (exhale). Generally, get used to breathing this way.
Core and muscle training
The core muscles envelop, coat, and stabilize the viscera and lumbar abdominal corset. Training these muscles as well as fortifying the trunk, which is more stressed in running, will help your internal organs and the diaphragm to remain more supported and less susceptible to fatigue, inflammation, and cramps on the right side.
Annoying liver pain can be prevented by paying attention to a number of details just before and during training
It is essential to avoid heavy meals before exercise, especially foods rich in proteins (milk, smoothies, and high protein bars); eat more complex carbohydrates, and avoid foods or drinks that are high in sugar. Hydrate your body but don’t do it all at once, take small sips of room temperature water every so often during the activity. To learn more about nutrition and training, read this guide:
Let’s move on to the quality of the breath during training. Breathe in and out fully to allow your diaphragm to relax deeply. Be aware of your breath, inhale and exhale every 3 or 5 steps, don’t do it every time you put your foot on the ground. Exhale as you place your left foot, in this phase the greatest compression of the diaphragm occurs, this will give less pressure on the liver which is on the right side.
Do exercises to strengthen the muscles of the rectus abdominis, back, and pelvic floor. Do not neglect the stretching useful to keep the tissues elastic. Practice yoga and techniques to learn correct diaphragmatic breathing.
Exercises to do to relieve pain in the side
We’ve seen prevention, but what to do if we still experience annoying flank pain?
As soon as you feel the crampon your right side, stop. Lift your right arm up, place your left hand on your hip where you feel the pain, apply light pressure with your fingers and tilt your torso to the left. Stay for 30 seconds, breathe slowly and naturally. Relax for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Bring the fingers of the right hand to the painful part, apply a slight pressure inwards. Exhale and make a gentle, slow twist of the trunk to the left. Stay for 20 seconds and breathe slowly and naturally. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the movement one more time.
Place your hands behind your lower back, inhale, and slightly arch your torso back. Push your chest up and stay with your head on the same line as the spine. Hold the position for 30 seconds, rest 10 seconds, and repeat 3 times.
If, after putting these tips into practice, the pain remains constant and intense with each of your sporting practices, it is advisable to have a medical check-up.