DOMS stands for Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness.
DOMS is the body’s reaction to training. It is that muscle soreness that shows up 1 or 2 days after exercising. It can effect anyone, regardless of fitness level. It commonly occurs when you start a new exercise programme or increase the duration or intensity of your regular workout. You might also recognise it from after the first good gardening day in the Spring when you haven’t done much of that type of exercise all winter.
Normally, DOMS last 1 or 2 days but it can take up to 5 days for the tenderness to go away! 😞
What Causes DOMS?
When your muscles are required to work harder than they are used to or in a different way, it’s believed to cause some micro damage to your muscle cells. This results in inflammation and muscle soreness.
We don’t really know that much about DOMS and scientists are still trying to figure out what exactly is going on!
But we do know that lactic acid (which often gets blamed) is not involved in the process.
What Makes The Pain Go Away?
Unfortunately, there is nothing proven to work. Other then letting time pass.
Some people swear by Epsom salt baths, ice packs, a massage, or stretching.
The good news is that as get used to a new workout regime the soreness will decrease. You will be less sore and recover faster.
Just keep going with your exercise programme or fitness classes.
Can You Still Exercise With DOMS?
Yes, you can continue to workout.
As your muscles warm up they may even feel less tender for a little while. Sometimes, it is just too sore though, and you may prefer gentle movement or rest.
Can I Prevent DOMS?
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to show that warming up or stretching (whilst having many other benefits) reduces DOMS. If you want to avoid DOMS your best bet is to start a new exercise routine gradually.
It is not necessary to get DOMS in order to improve or get stronger. In fact, we prefer our workouts WITHOUT DOMS! But from time to time, it happens to all of us (including elite athletes). And when it does, don’t worry. DOMS is normal and a good sign that you worked hard during your workout.
fitandhappy Personal Training & Fitness Classes
Have you tried one of our fitness classes or personal training sessions? Or even our new running group? We can’t promise you won’t get DOMS after the first class, but you will feel welcomed and we hope you will enjoy yourself.