Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a dull ach, stiffness, and tenderness that develops within several hours after a more strenuous than usual workout or exercise.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is pain and soreness that develops in the muscles several hours after physical activities that they have been accustomed to handling. DOMS may develop after ramping up an exercise routine or after weight training at much higher weights that your muscles and body are used to. The symptoms of DOMS include stiffness and pain in the muscles, and this condition is sometimes referred to as muscle fever. The pain and stiffness may be experiences first several hours after a more strenuous than usual. The severity of the soreness may also become worse 24-72 hours after the challenging workout. The symptoms are cause by eccentric exercise. Eccentric exercise occurs after a physical activity or weight lifting in which are is repeated eccentric contraction of the muscle. During an eccentric contraction, the force generated by the muscle trying to pull, lift, or push against an object is less than the opposing force. When the muscle or muscles being used to move an object are pushed beyond a range they can handle, or are used to handling, the muscle elongates. In the short term, strenuous activities that push muscles beyond ranges they are accustomed to handling will cause the muscles to build in size and strength as they heal themselves. In the short term, muscle soreness may develop in painful 24-72 hour windows, and people may experience the symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

DOMS is a protective mechanism of the body, which serves to limit against repeated heavy use of the same muscles and the same strenuous motions within hours of the activity that stretched the muscles. After a unaccustomed heavy exercise, the muscle becomes stretched and injured. Immediately, physiologic mechanisms begin to limit the range of the muscles and joints in the area, to prevent against further strain or injury of that muscle. Also, inflammation begins in that area to begin healing the strained muscle, which may involve pain and soreness. Because the muscles are richly supplied with blood vessels, the muscle will typically have healed itself within several days after the peak of its symptoms. If people were to perform the same types of activities within hours or days of the onset of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), they will experience increased soreness while using the strained muscles.

Muscle soreness is a symptom of exercise-induced muscle damage, which are muscle injuries that are directly related to exercise, weight lifting, or sports activities. There are two types of muscle soreness. Acute muscle soreness includes symptoms of muscle fatigue or strain that occurs during and immediately after strenuous physical activity. The other symptom of exercise-induced muscle damage is DOMS.

Most people have experienced DOMS, especially after some type of heavy exercise or sporting activity with friends that was preceded my weeks or months of days sitting at a desk or on the couch. The symptoms include stiffness and tenderness of the overly challenged muscle in addition to a dull aching pain. these symptoms are not typically present when the muscle is at rest. The soreness and dull ache may increase when the muscle is fully extended or contracted with a force against it. The pain will usually have subsided within a week after the physical activity that caused DOMS.

Causes. The symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) may develop after increasing the time of your normal workouts, increasing their intensity, and changing your workout routine to stress different muscle groups.

Treatment and Prevention. Some studies recommend stretching before workouts or sports to prevent muscle soreness, while other suggest little benefit. The recommendation is that you allow the sore muscles to rest and heal before subjecting them to further intense workouts.