💪 “Discover, “How to decrease soreness in record time!”.
Have you ever wondered why you are sore after exercise? Don’t stress as this is a normal physiological response to exercise, especially if you are returning to exercise or starting a new exercise program. If following exercise, your muscles are sore and this pain is bilateral, then you’re experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. If the soreness is on one side of the body or in a specific location, this may indicate an injury as opposed to DOMS and this is something that you should discuss with a health care professional.
There are several theories of the cause of delayed onset muscle soreness namely; lactic acid, muscle spasm, connective tissue damage, muscle damage, and inflammation. Integration of these theories is likely to explain DOMS.
DOMS is the consequence of mechanical and metabolic stress induced by physical activity. Muscle soreness after exercise is often associated with micro tearing of the muscles and the soreness experienced is a by-product of the healing and repairing process. In addition to soreness, reduced range of motion and muscle strength are also associated with DOMS and this will usually be experienced between 24-48 hours after exercise.
Some soreness following exercise indicates progress and if you’re not sore following exercise, especially in the initial stages of a new program, it may indicate that your body is not being challenged enough to be forced to grow. With resistance or strength training, you’re essentially tearing the muscle and creating microtrauma in the trained muscles for which they should recover, becoming strong and denser than before.
In order to reduce the delayed onset muscle soreness following exercise, or improve the conditions of DOMS, try these tips:
- Warm-up before exercise to prepare muscles for the shock of an intense workout.
- Hydrate with water and other fluids that replenish electrolytes.
- Consume enough protein to help your muscles repair.
- Do some light stretching.
- Get in some light movement or cardio to increase blood flow.
- Applying heat or ice to assist with pain management and this can be done through warm baths with Epsom salts or ice baths.
As your body adapts to the stress being put on it, the soreness and discomfort of DOMS will decrease. This can be discouraging for individuals starting a new program but the key is to stick with your program and this soreness will subside over time.
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EP Health Wellness Team
 Soetanto Hartono, Achmad Widodo, Himawan Wismanadi, and Gulbuldin Hikmatyar. 2019. “The Effects of Roller Massage, Massage, and Ice Bath on Lactate Removal and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.” Sport Mont, no. 2: 111. doi:10.26773/smj.190620
 Contrò, Valentina, Esamuela Pieretta Mancuso, and Patrizia Proia. 2016. “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) Management: Present State of the Art.” Trends in Sport Sciences 23 (3): 121–27