The Health Guru

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What is delayed muscle soreness?

Posted on | May 13, 2010 | No Comments

This is dedicated to my Austcham Paddling team mates who do the Beefcake land training sessions and have very sore muscles after Monday! 

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness  a.k.a DOMS.  This is the post-exercise muscle pain you feel after exercising which is typically worse 2 – 3 days later.  DOMS occurs when you make your muscles do something they’re not used to – like increasing the intensity or duration of exercise, using different muscle groups or trying new exercises.

The delayed pain that is felt is due to very small tears in the muscle fibres. The amount of tearing (and soreness) depends on how hard and how long you exercise and what type of exercise you do. Any movement that causes the muscle to forcefully contract while it lengthens (ie. Going down stairs, running downhill, lowering phase of weight lifting and the lowering motion of squats and push-ups) cause the most soreness.  (This is known as eccentric muscle contractions)

DOMS Treatment:

  • Try RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
  • Have a cold / ice bath
  • Active Recovery:  It’s been proven if you perform some easy low-impact aerobic exercise to increase blood flow it helps diminish muscle soreness.
  • Stretch Gently:  Did you know that stretching actually doesn’t help to reduce DOMS.  I think it’s all just psychological. So it just makes you feel better!
  • Gentle massage helps
  • Use anti-inflammatory medication if it’s really bad – aspirin or ibuprofen (this only reduces soreness)
  • Avoid vigorous activity again until the pain reduces

DOMS Prevention:

The main thing is warm up and cool down properly.  Ease into any changes to normal exercise habits.

An interesting fact is that research has proven that even if you do stretch before you begin exercise – it’s not effective in avoiding muscle soreness.

So most of the time you just have to tough it out.  It will go away.  And the best news is that once your muscles have adapted buy medicine online without prescription to that type of exercise and intensity you shouldn’t get that sore again.

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