Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS is the fancy name to why your muscles hurt so much after a workout or training session. There have been many suggestions to why this happens. Some theories include:
- The muscle itself has been damaged and therefore is sore. Microscopic tears and lesions form throughout the muscle.
- Muscle soreness is the natural occurrence after a particular bout of exercise that has a high intensity or duration.
- Muscles need to be broken down and recover in order to get bigger and stronger.
- Muscle soreness and stiffness after exercise is most common when an exercise/training program has been implemented or altered.
Needless to say, I think anyone who has experienced a tough training session can expect some soreness over the next 24 -48 hours. The key question is how to alleviate that muscle pain!! The Stick can help. I know this because new research out of Australia has suggested that simply stretching out the next day is not very effective at all. Here are some ideas from Elizabeth Quinn who is a sports medicine expert: (I Have placed “The Stick”beside the tips that apply to using this great massage tool.)
Here are some tips for dealing with soreness after exercise:
- Try an Ice Bath or Contrast Water Bath. Although no clear evidence proves they are effective, many pro athletes use them and claim they work to reduce soreness.
- Use active recovery techniques. This strategy does have some support in the research. Perform some easy low-impact aerobic exercise to increase blood flow “The Stick”. This may help diminish muscle soreness.
- Use the RICE method of treating injuries. Rest,Ice,Compression,Elevation
- Although research doesn’t find gentle stretching reduces soreness, some people find it simply feels good.
- Gently massage the affected muscles. Some research has found that massage was effective in alleviating DOMS by approximately 30% and reducing swelling, but it had no effects on muscle function. “The Stick”
- Try using a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin or ibuprofen) to reduce the soreness temporarily, though they won’t actually speed healing.
- There is some evidence that performing Yoga may reduce DOMS.
- Avoid any vigorous activity that increases pain. “The Stick”
- Allow the soreness to subside thoroughly before performing any vigorous exercise.
- Don’t forget to warm up completely before your next exercise session. There is some research that supports that a warm-up performed immediately prior to unaccustomed eccentric exercise produces small reductions in delayed-onset muscle soreness (but cool-down performed after exercise does not). “The Stick”
- If your pain persists longer than about 7 days or increases despite these measures, consult your physician.
- Learn something from the experience! Use prevention first.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – Prevention
While DOMS is common and annoying, it is not a necessary part of exercise. There are many things you can do to prevent, avoid and shorten the duration of DOMS:
- Warm up thoroughly before activity and cool down completely afterward. “The Stick”
- Cool Down with gentle stretching after exercise. “The Stick”
- Follow the Ten Percent Rule. When beginning a new activity start gradually and build up your time and intensity no more than ten percent per week.
- Start a new weight lifting routine with light weights and high reps (10-12) and gradually increase the amount you lift over several weeks.
- Avoid making sudden major changes in the type of exercise you do.
- Avoid making sudden major changes in the amount of time that you exercise.
As you can see “The Stick” can be instrumental in reducing muscle soreness.
To read the full article from Elizabeth Quinn click here.