DOMS; What is it? Why does it happen?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is pain or soreness experienced 24-48 hours after physical activity. It can occur anywhere in the body which has been subjected to increased activity.

It often follows the start of a new exercise programme, increased exercise duration / intensity or ‘eccentric’ (controlled elongation) movements such as bicep curls, squats or dead lifts.

Increased physical activity can cause micro-tears within the muscles and connective tissues, resulting in micro-trauma and inflammation. This, coupled with the chemicals released during inflammatory processes causes increased sensitivity to pain.

DOMS typically resolves within 3-5 days. During this period, rest should be taken and exercise should be kept light with gentle stretches.

It is important to stay hydrated; increased water intake enhances circulation which means better blood flow. This will help to flush out chemical irritants within the muscles, helping to reduce pain and inflammation.

Gentle massage can also help to enhance blood flow; increasing oxygen supply to muscles, whilst promoting muscle growth, strength and recovery.

At Jonathan Clark Physiotherapy; we provide Sport and Remedial Massage treatments to help speed up your recovery. Our therapists can provide education and advice regarding training programmes, stretching and pain relief.