Everything You Should Know About DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)

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Posted on
22 Feb, 2022
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Whether you’re a resistance training expert with a super active life or software genius with a sedentary lifestyle, you’ve had it. In fact, we’ve all had it to some degree. It’s Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. Walking with a slight bend, muscles screaming when trying to pick up something from the floor, or thighs hurting while walking down the stairs. Even though none of this is serious or life-threatening, it can dampen the spirit and make days feel like weeks. Most professional athletes and fitness buffs know DOMS like the back of their hands. Train, hurt, recover …. and get back to training. Few escapes delayed onset muscle soreness. It doesn't matter whether you’re an elite athlete or a yoga aficionado - you’ll face the music. However, there are things one can do to mitigate the experience and even recover faster. Here you’ll find the best course of action that’ll help you hurt less and recover quicker.

What Is DOMS

Unlike other fitness terms, it is what it says on the tin. It’s muscle soreness that one experiences a short time after muscle overstrain or exercise. It’s a condition that doesn’t happen immediately but a short time after training or workout. 'Typically DOMS occurs 24-48 hours after a hard workout.' explains physiotherapist Amy Hoover. The nature of this soreness means you won’t notice a thing before a day or two .. and then bam, it’ll hit. Hence they call it ‘delayed onset’.

Underlying Cause For DOMS

There are many things that can cause DOMS. These could be:
  • Returning back to a sport after a long break
  • Lifting more weight than you are used to
  • Trying a different tempo to your workout
  • Increasing the number of reps 
  • Starting a new type of exercise or workout
This kind of muscle soreness happens from stress on muscle fibers when extra force is exerted on them. This is caused whenever you give your muscles more load than usual. DOMS can also happen if you’re using muscles in a completely new way - like you do when playing a new sport. A pro weightlifter might get DOMS after his first few swings of the golf club. “It is also more common after eccentric exercise or movements that challenge the muscles to work as they lengthen.” says Dr. Hoover.

How To Treat DOMS

Besides agonizing groans, there are many proven ways to treat DOMS effectively and return to training. One of the best ways to beat DOMS is with post-workout stretching. There are other things you can do to tackle delayed onset muscle soreness. These are:

Massage Therapy

This is one of the best ways to beat DOMS. Massages play a critical role in reducing muscle soreness and inflammation. It stimulates the glucose converting cells called mitochondria and increases blood flow. One of the best ways to give yourself a massage after a workout is with a massage gun. A reputable gun massager like Vortix Melo will relieve your muscle tension. It is especially beneficial in reducing the intensity of muscle soreness after sports or workouts. These come with 6 detachable heads and you can choose the intensity to suit your needs.

Stay Hydrated

Lack of fluid and electrolytes can contribute to DOMS. Make sure you drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated. Your muscles are working harder than usual and need to pump more blood to fulfill the demand for extra oxygen. Since your blood is 82% water, you’ll be needing plenty of hydration. Keep a bottle of water while you’re training, and drink after completing each set.

Other things that help beat DOMS are ice therapy, foam rollers, NEAT exercise, and detoxing with a sauna blanket.
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