What is “delayed onset muscle soreness” (DOMS)?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a scientific term for the temporary muscle pain that occurs within 24 to 72 hours after a vigorous workout. You know that feeling pain in muscles you never knew you had after starting to exercise?

Most exercise scientists feel that this is a natural response to exercise stress. A flabby muscle suffers microscopic tears when suddenly forced into vigorous action. The tears cause inflammation, which leads to the pain that you feel the next day. This heals by minute scarring, without damaging muscle function at all. However, this is different from injury pain due to overuse. If you are injured, call us for advice.

What do you need to do about DOMS? Very little, as it turns out. A day or two of rest in between intense workout sessions allow your muscles to heal naturally.

Walk around, move it gently, do some stretches, try massage. Heat application increases the blood flow, washes away inflammatory chemicals and relaxes the cramped fibres.

Warm-ups might help prevent it the next time around. The good news is that it reduces with each round of exercise, as your body adjusts to your workout routine.

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