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What is DOMS?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or "DOMS" describes the painful ache into your muscles that starts 24 -48 hours after completing any activity, exercise or sport.DOMS is a normal response when increased stress is applied to muscle tissue that it is not accustomed to.

What causes DOMS?

With any exercise that leads to increased load there will be microscopic tearing into the muscles. Accompanying the tearing an inflammatory response starts which results in pain. This pain can sometimes peak 20 – 48 hours after exercising. Eccentric muscle contractions result in more DOMS when compared to other forms of resistance training. This is the lengthening action from any muscle in the body. For example, the lowering phase of a bicep curl.

Does DOMS heal?

The painful ache of DOMS will resolve as the microscopic muscle tearing heals and the inflammatory response settles. The bulk of the pain will gradually fade away after approximately 48hrs. The more that you complete a certain task the more accustomed your muscles will become and the effects of DOMS will lessen.

What can you do to prevent DOMS?

There are a few things to try which can lessen the painful ache of DOMS. These are as follows:
– Massage 24 – 72hrs following an exercise or sport
– Cold or Warm Baths after an activity
– Staying hydrated before, during and after an activity
– Adequate warm ups and cool downs
– Static stretching after completing an exercise or sport

If you would like any other information or ways to manage the effects of DOMS, please call Newcastle Integrated Physiotherapy on 02 4957 2961.

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