Ever wondered why you are at your sorest 24 to 48 hours after a workout? That’s DOMS. Ever left the personal training session feeling great only to feel tight and stiff after 6 to 8 hours? That’s DOMS. Remember those times you went “Yep that was a tough legs session yesterday”? That’s DOMS!
The reason behind this is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS, which occurs anywhere in the body which has been exposed to unfamiliar, unaccustomed, intense physical activity.
What is DOMS?
DOMS is caused by micro tears in the myofibrils (muscle fibres) resulting in micro-trauma. This increase in the inflammatory response alters intramuscular fluid and electrolytes and is a good thing as it is an important part of building new muscle. Not so good, it can also cause a dull ache anywhere from 6 to 48 hours post exercise in the affected muscles.
5 ways to reduce the effects
There are some simple ways to decrease the effects of DOMS after a tough workout.
1. Active Rest
Nothing is better than rest, promoting tissue healing and recovery. If you have worked to failure you should wait 72 hours before working to failure again, however we recommend light or different exercise as recovery such as swimming, walking or a easy gym workout.
This can prevent the cycle of progression to DOMS. There are several different stretching techniques, you could try the different ones to see which type works best for you. For more information on stretching search our blog posts, we have lots of ideas for shoulders, pecs and calves to name a few. Pro tip for when you are looking up stretches: Dynamic stretching is typically done before a workout whereas holding a stretch or doing a contract-relax style stretch can be safely performed post workout. For professional advice tailored to you, click here to see one of our Myotherapists.
May reduce the amount of inflammation that occurs and help promote a faster recovery. Typically an ice bath is the way to get the full body anti-inflammatory benefits. This is great for post sporting style exercise where you are constantly pushing yourself but not necessary post gym workouts where you want a bit of inflammation to help grow the muscle and get the gains you are after. A cold shower will work best in this instance.
Increases blood flow to aching muscles to promote healing and removal of waste products within the muscle tissue like lactic acid and scar tissue. Typically it is a lighter, non treatment massage. Our Myotherapy team can help if you need some healing hands. Click here to find a time that suits you best.
Natural remedies or anti-inflammatory medication can reduce the soreness after a workout. Some natural remedies include; turmeric, cinnamon and magnesium just to name a few. For more information on these, we suggest you talk to a good nutritionist or dietitian on how to get these foods naturally into your diet, it’s yummier that way!