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Muscle soreness after exercise?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a phenomenon of muscle pain, soreness or stiffness, 1 to 2 days after exercise. As the weather is improving, if you are starting or increasing your training for those summer runs, races or marathons, you will probably get some DOMS at some point.

DOMS happens when you start a new exercise program, change your routine or suddenly increase the intensity or duration of your training. DOMS is normal response to a new or change of exercise, and is thought to be due to microscopic tearing of muscle fibres.

Tips to prevent DOMS:
  • Warm up & cool down when training
  • Include some gentle stretching in both of the above
  • Incorporate some dynamic element into your warm up
  • Progress slowly - build up duration & intensity gradually
  • Avoid making sudden increase in intensity or duration of your training
Tips to aid DOMS recovery:
  • Active recovery - perform gentle, low intensity aerobic exercise, as part of cool down & days following
  • Gentle stretching
  • Hydrotherapy - can be done in a swimming pool, perform some gentle walking or swimming & stretching in the water
  • Massage
  • Rest - DOMS will resolve in 2-5 days usually

Author: Jonathan Smith

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