Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS, is the fancy name for the pain and discomfort that is experienced the day after exercising. If you’ve taken some time off or even just changed up your routine a bit, your body is vulnerable to a few days of soreness.
When the body is put under a new load, the muscles are not accustomed to that level of stress and as a result, small tears occur in the muscle. This micro-damage can lead to discomfort or soreness in that muscle that typically peaks around 24-72 hours after exercising and can last for up to 7 days.
The trauma that these muscles experience is actually beneficial in the long run as it allows the body to build and create stronger fibers to better manage that load in the future. But boy, it sure is sore for those first few days!
If you’re not used to exercising, or if you’re trying a new activity, this soreness can be a bit scary or make you want to stop. One of the best things to help overcome DOMS is to go and do something gentle and slow to improve blood flow to those muscles to help bring the nutrients/building blocks to repair the muscle and carry away the waste product.
Going for a gentle swim, cycle or walk are some good ways to counteract the soreness, and can also count as your “Good enough workout” ( see our previous article)
What you do need to be aware of, is when the pain starts to lasts a week or longer. New stresses or higher loads on the body can result in tendon injuries or muscle strains. So keep an eye on that soreness, and give us a call at Physiologix if you think you might have just pushed yourself just a bit too far.