What is DOMS?
Delayed onset of muscle soreness is the pain you feel in your muscles a day or two after doing exercise. It can range from a feeling of tightness with going down stairs for example, to severe pain.
What causes DOMS is still not clear in the research but likely a contribution of factors. The most convincing is eccentric exercise as a cause, that is when your muscle is lengthening under load (quads during squatting or hamstrings during cycling for example). Lactic acid build-up, dehydration and small muscle tears (which normally occur as you increase strength) are all said to cause DOMS. Maybe it is a combination of it all!
So, what do we do to fix it?
Again, the jury is out! A huge amount of money has been spent on research. While some things have been discounted ice, stretching (!) and ultrasound; the best has been found to be exercise. Get moving!
If it was running that caused your DOMS, the ideal exercise would be something low impact and gentle, low intensity. Do it immediately after the session or do it the next day.
DOMS peaks 48 hours after the “damage” has been done. It’s a risky time to put your muscle under high intensity load again before this has subsided. Instead work a different muscle group! Mix up your training/exercise week to accommodate the soreness and prevent injury.
And, until more research is done utilise massage, compression garments and perhaps anti-inflammatories to help reduce the stiffness (and the stiff legged walk that comes after a good hard workout!).
Need some advice or help with muscle soreness? Give us a call on 8544 8484.