Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is muscle pain, reduced range of motion, stiffness that begins after you’ve worked out or done any physical activity. It normally starts a day or two after the exercise or physical activity. You won’t feel DOMS during a workout.

Is it really DOMS?

DOMS occurs up at least 12 to 24 hours after a workout. The pain tends to peak about one to three days after your workout.

Symptoms of DOMS:

  • Muscle pain

  • Joint pain

  • Muscles are sensitive to touch

  • Reduced range of motion due to pain and stiffness when moving

  • Swelling in the affected muscles

  • Muscle fatigue

  • Loss of muscle strength

What causes DOMS?

The old model - Exercise or activity that can cause tiny, microscopic tears in your muscle fibers, increasing inflammation, which may lead to a delayed onset of soreness in the muscles.

The new model - neurological fatigue of the affected tissue. This leads to damage to the muscle, sensitization of the nerves, inflammation of the nerves/muscles/joints, and pain.

This can be caused by repeated postures, exercises, sports, activities that require physical exertion either in high intensity or lower intensities with greater times.

Is DOMS a sign of a ‘good’ workout?

NO. Ever hear, "No pain, no gain!" This is not true. When you start a new exercise routine or push your limits, you’re more likely to get sore or injured. But as you keep working out, your body adapts. DOMS extended over long periods of time can lead to over training syndrome. This reduces strength, increases likelihood of serious injury, increases fatigue, and decreases your ability to do the sport, exercise, or activity.

Here are several ways to avoid excessive muscle and joint soreness.

1) Drink more water
2) Warm-up before exercise
3) Cool down afterwards
4) Get enough sleep/rest
5) Avoid excessive caffeine/alcohol/tobacco products
6) Eat real food

7) Allow your body to recover

If you continue to have pain longer than a week, you should see a chiropractor as soon as possible to resolve the problem. 

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