Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
What is DOMS?
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is exercise-related muscle pain. It develops after excessive and unaccustomed exercise. It is particularly prevalent if that exercise has an eccentric component.
Eccentric exercise is an exercise where the muscles are contracting while lengthening – e.g. downhill running, long-distance running, plyometric exercises, and landing drills.
What Causes DOMS?
DOMS is myofibril tears (muscle strains). The microtrauma results in an inflammatory response with intramuscular fluid and electrolyte shifts.
We do know that biochemical markers (such as creatine kinase and lactic dehydrogenase) are in the blood of DOMS sufferers, which is consistent with muscle fibre disruption.
Swelling, altered muscle firing patterns and pain are the reasons why muscle strength, motions and function is impaired in DOMS sufferers.
(Black et al. 2008, Cleak et al. 1992, MacIntyre et al. 2001, Cheung et al. 2003, Dutto and Braun 2004, Paschalis 2007).
What are the Symptoms of DOMS?
The classic DOMS sufferer describes a dull muscle ache that develops 24 to 48 hours after the performance of a new or strenuous exercise. It is localised to the involved muscles and will result in muscle stiffness plus tenderness. Passive stretching will increase your symptoms which is one of the reasons why you feel stiff.
DOMS can also result in a short-term loss of muscle strength, a reduced joint range of motion, and possibly swelling of the affected muscle groups. The good news is that once you start moving your sore muscles, they will begin to feel less painful. But, you will find walking downstairs troublesome if it’s your quadriceps that are suffering!
How is DOMS Diagnosed?
DOMS is a clinical diagnosis. Your physiotherapist is an expert in the diagnosis of DOMS and excluding other more significant injuries such as muscle tears, strains or ruptures. An ultrasound scan is unreliable in the diagnosis of DOMS but may assist determine a more substantial muscle tear.
What is DOMS Treatment?
DOMS should be treated initially with active rest and anti-inflammatory measures such as ice. (Bleakley et al. 2012). Research on heat therapy for back muscle DOMS with a definite pain reduction. (Mayer et al. 2006)
NSAIDs may provide for pain relief, but long-term use may impair satellite cell healing in DOMS. (Schoenfeld 2012).
Gentle massage and pressure garments have been shown in research studies to provide a reduction in the duration and severity of DOMS. (Valle et al. 2014, Hill et al. 2013, Nelson N. 2014.) However, deep tissue massage should not occur during the first 24 hours. Also, avoid excessive muscle stretching in this early phase.
You should avoid aggressive exercise during the recovery phase. This avoidance is due to your muscles reduced capacity to cope with shock absorption, in-coordination, altered muscle recruitment patterns, reduced strength balance and contraction intensity. Cycling m ease DOMS pain temporarily. (Zainuddin et al. 2005)
How Can You Prevent DOMS?
Minimise DOMS by following these suggestions:
- Take it slow and gradually build up the amount of exercise you do in your program – remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Only increase your sets, reps and weights by more than 10% per week.
- Be aware of the amount of eccentric exercise you include in your workouts.
- Ensure you do a thorough cool down following your workout – many of us would have seen sportspeople doing gentle running and cool down drills after their games – this is one of the reasons why.
- Long-distance runners should incorporate eccentric quadriceps training into their training.
What is the Prognosis of DOMS?
The good news is that most cases of DOMS gradually subside and have no lasting effects. Most cases of DOMS will resolve within one to three days.
However, if the following applies to you, then it is best to seek the advice of your physiotherapist.
- The pain is still present and not resolving more than 48 hours post-exercise.
- The pain came on during the exercise (not the day after) and was more sudden in onset.
- The pain is located in and around the joints and not just limited to muscles.
- There are swelling and discomfort in and around the joints.
Common Muscle Injuries
Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, can result from various causes and can affect different areas of the body. Managing and preventing discomfort requires a clear understanding of these common muscle injuries. This comprehensive guide aims to explore several sources of muscle pain, including injuries in the neck and back, strains in the lower limbs, conditions in the upper limbs, systemic causes, and more.
To provide valuable insights into the management of common muscle injuries, this guide offers answers to frequently asked questions and suggests products that can aid in your recovery. Access additional information about each specific injury by clicking the provided links.
Neck & Back Muscle Injuries
Lower Limb Muscle Injuries
Upper Limb Muscle Injuries
Systemic Causes of Myalgia
More Information: Myalgia
FAQs & Products
Common Muscle Injury FAQs
Welcome to "Managing and Recovering from Muscle Injuries: FAQs," your ultimate guide to diagnosing, treating, and recovering from muscle injuries. Explore various types of muscle injuries, learn about trigger points, and gain an understanding of post-exercise muscular pain. Discover effective treatments to expedite recovery, and benefit from stretching exercises and foam rollers. Unlock the healing power of massage therapies, including remedial, relaxation, trigger point, acupressure, and sports massages. Get ready to take an active role in successfully managing and recovering from muscle injuries.
- How Do You Know If It's A Muscle Injury?
- What are the 4 Types of Muscle Injuries?
- What are the Most Common Muscle Injuries?
- What is a Trigger Point in a Muscle?
- What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
- How Do You Know If Your Back Pain Is Muscular?
- Tendinopathy vs Muscle Tear?
- Muscle vs Ligament Injury?
Treatment & Recovery
- What is the Best Early Muscle Injury Treatment?
- How Long Does it Take for a Muscle Injury to Heal?
- How Does Dry Needling Help Muscle Injury?
- How Can You Speed Up Muscle Recovery?
- What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
- How Do Foam Rollers Help Muscle Recovery?
Massage & Muscle Injuries
- Muscle Injury? What are the Benefits of Getting a Massage?
- What Is The Difference Between Remedial & Relaxation Massage?
- How Does Trigger Point Therapy Help?
- How Does Acupressure Help Muscle Injury?
- What is Sports Massage?
- When is the Best Time to Get a Pre-Event Massage?
- When is the Best Time for Your Post-Event Massage?