Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
If you exercise at all, you most probably have experienced delayed onset muscle soreness.
Also known as DOMS, it can begin as early as 8 hours after you exercise but usually occurs 24 – 72 hours after you begin a new exercise program, change your exercise routine, or dramatically increase the duration or intensity of your exercise routine. Most times, DOMS begins to lessen after about 96 hours, but it can last several days.
Regardless of your conditioning, everyone is susceptible to muscle soreness and even DOMS. It can occur if you are an experienced distance runner and you take a high intensity group fitness class for the first time, or if you are returning to exercise after years of leading a sedentary lifestyle, or if you try a new exercise, or if you reduce your rest time in between weightlifting sets, or significantly increase your intensity during your workout.
You might feel the soreness when you stand up, sit down, walk down stairs, or really at any time. There is a difference between pain and soreness though. Pain is bad. This soreness, while uncomfortable, is not.
What should you do when you experience it?
Well, frankly, nothing is 100% effective but these methods can help:
- active recovery – don’t sit on a couch or at your desk and moan about it. Get up and move around
- taking an ice bath
- gentle stretching and limited use of ibuprofen (this really only temporarily relieves the pain; it does not address the soreness)
- utilizing a foam roller
- staying hydrated
- using a recovery drink with the amino acid Glutamine, and
- warming up and stretching immediately before your next physical activity
Note I didn’t suggest a massage. While I enjoy full body, deep tissue massages, unfortunately they don’t relieve the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. h