DOMS delayed onset muscle soreness

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

What is DOMS?

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can affect anyone from professional athletes to the occasional gym-goer. The exact mechanism is unknown but it is believed to be a combination of inflammation, tissue damage and lactic acid production.

DOMS will generally occur after a prolonged period of rest, with new activities or after a higher intensity workout that you’re not use to. DOMS will tend to bring on a sore achy feeling in the muscles and will peak 48-72 hours post exercise.

Conditions such as DOMS are a common reason for compromised sport performance due restricted joint range of motion and loss of muscle strength. An alteration in muscle sequencing/recruitment may also occur and place unaccustomed stress onto your muscles, ligaments or tendons which could potentially lead to injury.

Easing the discomfort of DOMS

The soreness will eventually go away on its own after a few days to a week, there have been some suggested interventions to assists with the pain and duration such as:

  • Massage or osteopathy treatment
  • Gentle exercise
  • Ice and heat
  • Using products such as magnesium or lectric soda crystals (you can learn more about lectric soda crystals in a previous blog we wrote by clicking here).
  • Compression garments
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

Prevention of DOMS

It is not always possible to prevent the onset of DOMS but there are some ways to minimise or reduce the severity of DOMS, such as:

  • An active recovery
  • Warming up before exercise
  • Cooling down afterwards
  • Slowly increase your training load
  • Staying hydrated

Don’t forget you can always chat to your osteo about what else you might be able to do.

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