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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: What is it?

What is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)?

*Disclaimer: I am not a Medical Doctor or Physical Therapist. This information was gained through my own research.

Have you ever heard anyone talking about DOMS. What is it? This acronym stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. If you exercise then you are probably familiar with DOMS. The onset of DOMS is generally within a few hours to 72 hours after strenuous exercise. According to Wikipedia, “Delayed onset muscle soreness is one symptom of exercise-induced muscle damage.” DOMS is not cause by lactic acid in the muscle tissue. It is also sometimes referred to as muscle fever.

Sounds horrible!

It can be.

Sometimes you will complete a workout only to have DOMS set in and make it feel like subsequent workouts are extra hard to complete. The soreness can be intense. This can be caused by starting up a new workout regimen too quickly, running in a race, or working out and not giving yourself adequate recovery time.

What is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS? #runchat #Crossfit #running

Last week I returned to CrossFit after about 3 weeks off during the last portion of my half marathon training. I went to an afternoon session where we completed Front squats, push press, pull-ups and burpees. Wouldn’t you know it but by Friday a severe case of DOMS had set in. I felt like I couldn’t lift my arms and squatting down was super painful. In running, hill repeats and high intensity intervals are often the cause of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. I have had DOMS before after racing too and it is no fun!

According to Peak Fitness,”A higher number of repetitions is commonly associated with the development of DOMS.” Another reason for DOMS is sometimes the lack of an appropriate warm-up before and a cool-down after exercise. It is important to train the muscles that will be strained during exercise. In Runner’s World they said that,

“For instance, the Boston Marathon is known to be brutal on the quads as a result of its many downhills. To prepare for this, a runner should train on downhills the few months leading up to the race. ‘The more times you repeat the activity, the less pain you’ll feel because your body will continually adapt to it,’ explains Dr. Szymanski”

Runner’s World

What are Symptoms of DOMS?

Symptoms that DOMS can cause:

  • Swelling in joints
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Loss of regular range of motion in your joints
  • Temporary muscle weakness
  • Muscles that are sore to the touch
  • Achy muscles

How can you relieve Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?

There are some things that you can do to aid in relieving DOMS.

  • Wear compression garments such as compression socks or sleeves and compression arm sleeves
  • Get a massage.
  • Foam rolling affected areas can help.
  • Skip the exercise that cause DOMS and do some other type of low impact, low intensity workout. This will help by increasing blood flow to the affected areas.
  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

Have you ever had Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)? What helped you to recover?

organic runner mom
organic runner mom

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3 responses

3 responses

  1. Oh, can I ever relate to this!! I was in such a major DOMS mess last week, but I knew it would not last forever. It’s crazy how one intense workout can “linger” for several days.

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