What you Need to Know about Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Delayed onset of muscle soreness or more commonly known as DOMS is caused by minor muscle strains following an intense workout. The microtrauma results in some inflammation causing a dull muscle ache 24 to 48 hours after the workout. The affected muscle will also feel stiff.
DOMS should be treated initially with active rest and anti-inflammatory measures such as ice. Some studies have also found a wheat bag or heat rub to help with back muscle DOMS. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used for pain relief however it is not recommended long-term as it impairs the muscle healing.
Soft tissue massage is also effective at managing DOMS and deep tissue massage can be used after the 24-hour mark. Often people will think to stretch however in the early phase this should be avoided. Returning to the gym or workout during the recovery phase is not recommended as your muscles have a reduced capacity to cope. Instead, light workouts such as cycling, cross trainer and walking should be performed to help ease DOMS pain.
The prognosis of DOMS is good, usually a short period of one to three days. However, there are a few situations where further assessment is recommended.
– If the pain persists longer than 48 hours post-exercise or
– If the pain came on during the exercise or
– if there is pain and swelling around the joints and not just in the muscle
If any of these situations occur it is advised you seek the advice of a physio
DOMS should not be a normal response for you following a workout. There are a few ways to minimize the development of DOMS which one of our friendly physiotherapists and Miami and Lakelands Physiotherapy would definitely be able to help you.