Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or often referred to as DOMS, is a very common occurrence when muscles that are not routinely used suddenly become the focus of a particular exercise or activity. Even muscles that are worked out regularly can experience DOMS by simply altering the exercises used to target those muscles.

Symptoms of DOMS

Symptoms of DOMS are typically muscle soreness, tightness, and temporary reduced range of motion. These symptoms normally appear 12-48 hours after the activity to cause them was performed. The generally accepted reason as to why one may experience these symptoms is because during the irregular activity, the muscles themselves experienced microscopic tears causing the discomfort. This is normal and also essential so the muscles can repair and grow stronger.

Recovery from DOMS

Recovery may take up to 72 hours but may be accelerated by drinking water, consuming high quality protein, and receiving ample amount of deep sleep. Some individuals may also benefit from performing a very light exercise that will increase blood flow to the affected area, accelerating the healing process.

Preventing DOMS

There are a number of ways to prevent or lessen the effects of DOMS:

  • Perform a warm-up activity that utilizes the muscles about to be targeted in a far less intense manner
  • Stretch the muscles before and after the activity
  • When performing a weight lifting exercise for the first time, use 50% of the normal weight amount prior to a full workout routine
  • Do not overdo things: start off with less intensity and gradually build-up