The "side ache," or "stitch in the side," that occurs with exercise in normal persons is well known to layman and to physician alike. It was mentioned by Pliny the Elder and by Shakespeare. In spite of its frequent occurrence, it has received little attention in the medical literature. Explanations regarding its mechanism have been largely speculative. I have been able to find only four papers in which actual data concerning its nature have been recorded. Benjamin,1 in 1923, stated that this pain occurred only in "constitutionally inferior children." He claimed that because of faulty vasomotor regulation, exercise resulted in congestion and swelling of the liver and the spleen. The pain was due to visceral distention and to pulling on the suspensory ligaments. He stated that relief was obtained by deep breathing, by tightening of a belt or by local external pressure. He detected enlargement of the liver and
CAPPS RB. CAUSE OF THE SO-CALLED SIDE ACHE THAT OCCURS IN NORMAL PERSONS: PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1941;68(1):94–101. doi:10.1001/archinte.1941.00200070104006
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