Muscle soreness 101: DOMS

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It gets better with time.  You get better at working out. Your muscles don't hurt as much. You start seeing those gains.

What is DOMS?

DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It typically onsets 6-8hours after working out. It normally lasts a day or two. It is not the same soreness you get directly after a workout. DOMS comes from very very tiny tears in your muscle tissues.  You get those tears from doing a workout (or specific exercise) you’ve never done before.

Girl Box Jumping

Should I be concerned about DOMS? 

There is no straight answer to this question. It depends on the intensity of pain. DOMS should never limit your range of motion (it may hurt to walk, but that is not the same as being unable to walk). If your range of motion is limited, you may be dealing with a more serious injury. Next you have to ask yourself how long has it hurt? DOMS does not usually last more than 3 days. If it’s been longer than 3 days and you are not improving , you may be looking at a more serious injury. Lastly, what is the pain like? Is it a sharp or dull pain? DOMS is a dull pain that intensifies with motion.

No Pain, No Gain

When you’re working out, your muscles should hurt and get tired. However, you should not be working out to the point of injury. DOMS is something you can prevent. 

    Wait, what?

DOMS can be avoided with these easy steps.

  1. After warming up, stretch. Stretching cold will make DOMS worse.
  2. Once your muscles have fatigued, stop working them out. Switch to a different muscle group. It’s okay if you need to stretch in the middle of a workout too.
  3. Stretch after a workout. This lengthens your muscles and will prevent soreness.

 

What else can I do?

 

Defeat DOMS with your day to day activities.

  1. HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE. Drinking water will help prevent fatigue. Water is essential for your muscles to be able to rebuild themselves.
  2. Foam roll. Use a foam roller after your shower or before bed. It is like giving yourself a massage. I usually do it while watching tv at night before bed.
  3. Rest. After a hard workout, give your muscles a break. Get some sleep and allow them to rebuild.
Do you ever feel like this guy after a workout trying to open something? You don't have to.

Do you ever feel like this guy after a workout trying to open something? You don't have to.

 

Your Turn

Are you constantly dealing with muscle soreness? How do you deal with it?