Most of us have experienced muscle pain after exercise commonly known as DOMS.
Today, after my return to the gym this week I have the gait of a penguin and squeak getting on and off the loo…. ? ?
Do you need to worry about it? What can you do about it and can you prevent it?
DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and typically occurs 12-48 hours after exercise that you are new to, haven’t done in a while, or is more intense than normal.
It’s caused by tiny microscopic tears in the muscle fibres which causes temporary inflammation in the muscles which makes them sore.We used to think it was due to a build up of lactic acid but this has now been debunked.
Over time as you exercise regularly your body adapts and it happens less often unless you increase training load or volume significantly.
The only time to seek medical help for it is if:
▪️You have significant swelling in your arms and legs
▪️ Your urine is abnormally dark
▪️It lasts longer than 7 days
There are a few things to do to try and ease the discomfort but time is usually all it takes.
?♀️ It’s tempting to do nothing when muscles are sore but the best thing to do is keep moving, walking, mobility work or even a light exercise session will make things feel heaps better!
? Prioritise recovery - get enough sleep, hydrate and nourish your body properly
? Have a bath - ice baths can lessen the degree of DOMS and some folk find a warm bath soothes those aching muscles
?♀️ Foam rolling/massage - these don’t change your muscles or flush out toxins or any of that nonsense but they can help ease symptoms for some people.
? Grab rails and bannisters to manage stairs and going to the loo ?
It’s difficult to avoid DOMS all together but here are a few things you can do to reduce the severity:
? Exercise regularly and build up gradually, over time your body gets stronger and you experience DOMS less often.
? Warm up and cool down properly.
? Stay hydrated.
Personally whilst I moan about it at the time, I secretly quite like a bit of DOMS! ??