Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is pain or discomfort you feel in the worked muscles after a good workout. Sometimes referred to as “Exercise Tax” because it is the price you pay for a heavy workout!
Weakness is a symptom as much as pain is and starts after a delay of at least a few hours, often after sleeping, and then continues for 24 to 48 hours. Some people find the second day after exercising worse.
Don’t Stop Exercising
Starting a new workout program means you have to conform to a new balanced routine, exercising, and goal planning. But add to that DOMS or the delayed onset muscle soreness that can accompany a new workout makes it all the more challenging to keep exercising.
Chances are your desire to get to the gym wanes when you can’t lift your arm to comb your hair.
After participating in a new activity, it may be disturbing to have to contend with muscle soreness. Mild soreness isn’t unnatural and will lessen as you become accustomed to your new workout regime.
Don’t let DOMS be a deterrent, be sure you rest your muscles between exercising, stretch and drink plenty of fluids during and after your workouts. If you find your have really stiff and sore muscles, try a really, really light exercise to pump fresh blood but not damage the muscles.
Exercise pain or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a natural result of heavy physical activity that works your muscles beyond what they are accustomed to.
What Causes Muscle Soreness
It is commonly believed that small microscopic tears occur in the muscle, resulting in inflammation that causes the pain. No one is immune to muscle soreness.
Exercise fanatics, elite athletes, body builder’s and weekend warriors all experience delayed onset muscle soreness.
For the de-conditioned person starting a new class or exercise regime this can be intimidating. They may find their excitement diminishes the following day with each painful movement.
The novice athlete unfamiliar with the feeling of DOMS, might worry that they have hurt themselves and not want to venture into the gym again.
Delayed muscle soreness treatment
There is no one solution or cure for DOMS but the next few tips are helpful in the process of recovery:
- Try some light exercise, akin to what you have been doing but on a lesser strenuous scale to reduce your muscle pain. Or you can try relaxed swimming as a fabulous way to keep your muscles in motion and give you a great cardio workout too.
- It is critical to include a cool-down after completing your workout by including at least 10 minutes of easy movement work such as walking before you fully stretch all the muscles you have worked.
- Heat remedies to treat muscle soreness by using a hot bag applied directly to the skin have shown beneficial to athletes. You will experience an increase in blood flow on the areas you apply heat to. This will help to bring more oxygen to the muscle. With the blood also comes nutrients and in turn takes away waste products.
If your muscles are sore after your workout, don’t expect to set personal records. Most likely, during a bout of DOMS, your exercise potential will be somewhat diminished. Good news is it should only be the muscles you just worked so you are free to work the other ones while they rest.
Since there is a loss in muscle strength, athletic performance won’t be at peak levels for a couple of days so it is best to plan a few days of alternate exercise to prevent further muscle damage and reduce the likelihood of injury.
Cross training and a change in your routine will help you to develop your muscles. If you feel you have injured the muscle then is needs to be treated and will likely feel different than DOMS.
Sometimes a little pain might be motivating, it shows you worked your muscles and a sign that you are getting results.