Published online 2014 Sep 3. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0245-z. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP), commonly referred to as ‘stitch’, is an ailment well known in many sporting activities.
It is especially prevalent in activities that involve repetitive torso movement with the torso in an extended position, such as running and horse riding. Approximately 70 % of runners report experiencing the pain in the past year and in a single running event approximately one in five participants can be expected to suffer the condition.
ETAP is a localized pain that is most common in the lateral aspects of the mid abdomen along the costal border, although it may occur in any region of the abdomen.
It may also be related to shoulder tip pain, which is the referred site from tissue innervated by the phrenic nerve. ETAP tends to be sharp or stabbing when severe, and cramping, aching, or pulling when less intense. The condition is exacerbated by the postprandial state, with hypertonic beverages being particularly provocative. ETAP is most common in the young but is unrelated to sex or body type. Well trained athletes are not immune from the condition, although they may experience it less frequently.