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DOMS: What it is and how to treat it



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Treating sore muscles after exercise may be more complicated than you think.


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If you're new to the fitness world, you may not know about the "muscle fever" that plagues athletes and athletes around the world. It makes your muscles tender and tired, and in severe cases can take you out of the gym for a few days.

Scientists have studied this phenomenon for decades, but still do not fully understand why this happens. However, the disease has a name: delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Almost anyone who exercises in any form will eventually suffer from DOMS. You need to know the following about prevention and treatment.

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What exactly is DOMS?

DOMS are muscle aches that occur after you have exercised. It is often referred to as "muscle fever" because, depending on severity, your muscles may feel weak and ill in addition to the pain.

DOMS symptoms to note are:

  • muscle pain and muscle sensation
  • impaired range of motion
  • tension and stiffness
  • swelling of affected muscles
  • muscle weakness of affected muscles
  • fatigue or total body fatigue

Do not confuse DOMS with acute muscle soreness, the burning, "inflated" sensation that you feel during exercise. Acute muscle soreness is caused by the build-up of lactic acid and usually disappears when you stop exercising.

How long does DOMS take?

It's hard to say because it's an elaborate timeline. DOMS symptoms usually occur at least 12 hours after exercise, but usually 24 hours later. The pain reaches its peak two to three days after training and then gradually decreases. You may still feel tense or in pain for up to one week after your DOMS-inducing workout.

Can you handle DOMS?

According to science, no. So far there is no scientifically supported abbreviation for DOMS – time is the only treatment.

However, you can relieve your pain while working with DOMS. Just know that you are still sore after the relief of immediate pain relief, maybe not quite so. To relieve pain, you could try:

Can you prevent DOMS?

You may not be able to avoid DOMS, especially if you are not yet familiar with training or following a workout program that continuously increases intensity. However, you can take steps to reduce the severity of DOMS:

  • Warm Up Before Training: Warming up will prepare your body for the intense stimulus of your workout.
  • Cool off after training: Help your body retire by cooling with low-intensity movement (walking, cycling) and stretching. Stretching does not prevent DOMS, but it can help you maintain mobility and flexibility.
  • Use recovery techniques as soon as possible: Massage, cryotherapy, compression therapy, and other recovery techniques usually work best if used immediately after training.
  • Be Smart at Intensity: Slowly increase your strength and endurance while reducing the likelihood of over-exerting your muscles.

Do I have to rest when I have DOMS?

Not necessarily. In fact, doing nothing can make DOMS worse, as sedentary behavior does not promote blood circulation. You may want to avoid high-intensity training or strength training, but you can definitely do some low-intensity training at steady-state (LISS). It could look like you're cycling for 30 minutes, walking for an hour, or doing a gentle yoga flow.

If you only have pain in one place – say your legs – you can easily work your upper body. Many bodybuilders and weightlifters use muscle group splits so that they can continue training even with sore muscles.

Does DOMS mean I trained well?

Again, not necessarily. Many people associate DOMS with fitness gains, but that's not always true. It is true that pain means that your body adapts to a new stimulus. For example more repetitions or a higher weight. But DOMS can also come in response to a completely new movement or activity, such as the first climb.

You do not have to get to the point of DOMS every time you train. In fact, most fitness trainers advise against it, as serious or recurrent DOMs can actually hinder your progress.

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DOMS can occur when you lift heavy weight, do more repetitions, or try a new activity or movement for the first time.


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The other kind of sore muscles

Before you start, you should know that there is another common type of sore muscle that you can treat. Myofascial trigger points – also called muscle nodes – are sensitive sites throughout the soft tissue.

Scientists do not yet understand the true nature of trigger points, but the most common explanation describes them as small areas of tightly contracted muscles that do not get enough blood flow.

Trigger points may develop after intense exercise DOMS, unlike DOMS, lasts longer and may cause irritating, persistent pain if left untreated. Trigger points produce a sharp, stabbing pain when thrusting or thrusting.

You can also differentiate trigger points from DOMS by considering the surface of your pain: is it localized, e.g. B. on your shoulder blade, or it affects a whole muscle group, z. B. your lower back?

The good news is that you can easily handle trigger points yourself without harming your wallet.

Self-mofioscopic release or foam rolling is the least expensive and easiest way to get muscle out of your system. It's not a magical cure, but it can help boost blood circulation to trigger points and release them from their over-contracted state. Applying heat to your muscle knots can also help him relax.

If you really want to get into a muscle knot, try a percussion therapy. However, be forewarned that these powerful massage guns can hurt sensitive muscles.

True-day medical therapy for trigger points, which is usually reserved for people with alarmingly high levels of trigger points or myofascial pain syndrome, goes beyond unique methods such as foam rollers to look for underlying medical factors.

If you have severe chronic muscle aches of any kind, talk to a doctor as soon as possible.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be considered as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a disease or health goals.


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