Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness [DOMS]-how to overcome this


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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness [DOMS]

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Mr. Vijay, a patient of mine visited me recently with persistent pains all over the body. His chest was hurting, his biceps and calves were sore and, moreover, he was finding it difficult to lie down on bed and sleep. I casually asked him if he had been doing some sort of heavy exercise.

Upon which he replied that he had visited his gym yesterday after a gap of about 45 days. There, he started his workout as usual- gradually increasing his repetition till he reached his full potential like he did 45 days ago.

What he did not realize, and his instructor also did not tell him, was that he was overdoing his workout after such a huge gap! This had landed him in a situation which we call- Delayed onset muscle soreness or simply DOMS.

What is DOMS?

Intense exercise—especially strength training—can leave your muscles feeling sore for days after. If you don’t recover properly, this soreness can linger and even get worse as time goes on. This is what experts call “delayed onset muscle soreness” or DOMS.

In general, DOMS is the pain you feel in your muscles 24 to 48 hours after intense exercise that causes small tears in your muscle fibers. These micro-tears are good because they signal the growth of new, stronger fibers.

However, that doesn’t make DOMS feel any less unpleasant! Here’s everything you need to know about DOMS, why it happens, and how to recover from it faster.

Recently I published an article on muscle cramps. If you have not already read it, you can read it here-

What Causes DOMS?

DOMS is caused by eccentric muscle contractions. These are the movements during which a muscle lengthens as it contracts, like when you’re lowering yourself down from a pull-up bar.

This type of movement is different from concentric contractions, which occur when a muscle shortens while contracting, as in a bicep curl.

During eccentric contractions, muscles are under tension for longer periods of time and tear more easily—which explains why DOMS is so common after strength training.

How Long Does DOMS Last?

DOMS usually peaks at about two days after your workout and subsides after seven to 10 days. However, if you don’t take proper steps to recover, soreness can linger for weeks or even months.

If your workouts are particularly intense or you have an injury that limits your range of motion, DOMS can last up to six weeks or more! Over time, however, the pain will lessen and eventually go away completely once your body fully heals.

Prevention of DOMS

What Can I Do to Prevent DOMS?

The best way to prevent DOMS is to stretch after each workout. This will help you avoid injuries and also improve your flexibility.

Also, consider warming up before your workouts with some light cardio or easy stretching. If you’re new to exercise, start off slow by increasing your workout time gradually over a few weeks.

This will give your body time to adapt and avoid injury. Finally, if you’re experiencing severe DOMS, try taking a day off from exercise to let your body recover; if the pain doesn’t subside within 24 hours, see a doctor.

How Can I Treat My Sore Muscles?

If you do have DOMS, there are things you can do at home to help relieve the pain and speed up healing: Apply ice packs or cold compresses for 15 minutes every hour for the first day or two after exercising; then switch to warm packs for 15 minutes every two hours for another two days. You can also apply a sore soothing muscle oil or liniment immediately before or after fomentation.

Hot and Cold compresses
Hot and cold compress bags-Image source-Amazon
hot water bag for delayed onset muscle soreness
Hot water bag for Fomentation
Massage Oil to soothe DOMS
Massage oil for DOMS

All the above products are available online here- Amazon.com

What else can you do?

Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). These can help ease swelling and pain in sore muscles as well as reduce inflammation. Don’t take these medications for longer than 10 days without consulting a doctor!

Useful resource-https://www.healthline.com/health/doms

Conclusion-

DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness is one of the most well-known and common problems among strength athletes. It can be challenging for you to recover from the soreness and weakness that it leaves in its wake, but there are a number of different strategies you can use to speed up recovery and reduce the severity of symptoms.

First things first, though, you should know what exactly DOMS is, as well as how to prevent it.
Writing this article has also helped me understand DOMS better and has informed me of some ways in which I can try to prevent it.
If you’re active and exercise regularly, you may have experienced DOMS at some point in your life. The most common causes are DOMS after weightlifting, climbing hills, running, or any other form of endurance exercise.
The best thing you can do to treat DOMS is to follow the aforementioned home remedies, then stretch often and avoid exercising for sometime if you experience pain.
Eventually, the pain will subside, and your muscles will return to normal functioning. You can also do some manual therapy on your muscles to speed up the recovery process.

DOMS can be uncomfortable, but it’s not dangerous or serious. It usually lasts between 6 to 10 days following intense exercise and can cause muscle soreness and minor joint pain. However, if your DOMS persists for more than three weeks after your last workout, see your doctor.
On the bright side, DOMS is a sign that your muscles are getting stronger and will slowly fade away after some rest and time. In fact, it is completely normal and completely treatable. Most people experience DOMS once or twice while they’re training hard, and they’ll recover completely within a few days.
If you do have DOMS, there are things you can do at home to help relieve the pain and speed up healing- Apply ice packs or cold compresses for 15 minutes every hour for the first day or two after exercising; then switch to warm packs for 15 minutes every two hours for another two days.
Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). These can help ease swelling and pain in sore muscles as well as reduce inflammation. Don’t take these medications for longer than 10 days without consulting a doctor!

I conclude this article here. My next article will be on newer drugs for treatment of diabetes, which will be useful for all those undergoing treatment for diabetes. Do share tis article with your freinds and family- it may help them to overcome muscle soreness after exercise.

Adios.

Disclosure-

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