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What You Need to Know About Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness

DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is a type of muscle soreness that develops after exercise. Check this out to know more!

If you've recently started exercising, you may have run into something called DOMS. DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is a type of muscle soreness that develops after exercise. It is a type of muscle fatigue that occurs as a result of challenging exercise and can last up to 72 hours after the initial exercise session.

That said, you might have a couple of questions about DOMS. For example, you might be wondering what causes DOMS, or you might be wondering if DOMS is a good sign that you're working out well. Let's talk about that and more!

What Are the Main Causes of DOMS?

DOMS is generally caused by eccentric muscle contractions, which are contractions that involve the muscle being lengthened as it is being contracted. During eccentric contractions, the muscle fibres are actually torn and damaged, which leads to the inflammation and soreness that is experienced as DOMS.

Is DOMS a Good Sign?

The simple answer is that DOMS is a sign that your body is adapting to the challenge you presented it with. When you exercise, you create tiny micro tears in the muscle fibres. As your body repairs these micro tears, the muscle fibres become thicker and stronger, allowing you to lift more weight or perform more reps. This is the process of muscle growth, and DOMS is usually a sign that it's happening.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to DOMS. The first is that it's not a sign of progress if it's too severe. If your DOMS is so intense that it's preventing you from working out or performing daily activities, then it's an indication that you may have pushed yourself too hard. In this case, it's best to take a few days off and allow your body to recover.

Another thing to keep in mind is that DOMS is not the only sign of progress. If you're not feeling any soreness, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're not making progress. Muscle growth can occur even without DOMS. In this case, other indicators to look for are increases in weight or reps over time, as well as changes in body composition.

What Can I Do to Manage DOMS?

1. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is incredibly important for helping to reduce the effects of DOMS. Staying hydrated can help to reduce the amount of lactic acid buildup in your muscles, which can help to reduce soreness and stiffness. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and also during your workouts.

2. Get Proper Nutrition

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for helping to reduce the effects of DOMS. Eating foods that are high in protein can help your muscles to recover and rebuild after a workout. Additionally, eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help to reduce inflammation and reduce soreness.

3. Use Heat and Cold Therapy

Using both heat and cold therapy can be very effective in helping to manage DOMS. Applying a hot towel or heating pad to the affected area can help to reduce stiffness, while an ice pack can help to reduce inflammation and pain.

4. Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication

Taking an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can help to reduce inflammation and reduce the effects of DOMS. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any kind of medication.

5. Stretch and Foam Roll

Stretching and foam rolling can help to reduce the effects of DOMS by increasing circulation and aiding in muscle recovery. Foam rolling can help to break up scar tissue and improve flexibility, while stretching can help to lengthen the muscles and improve the range of motion.


And that's what you generally need to know about DOMS. Remember, DOMS is a natural process of the body reacting to the microscopic tears in the muscles, and as you get stronger, DOMS won't be as prevalent. But of course, too severe of DOMS means that you need to lay back and take a break to recover. And if you still have questions about DOMS or need help managing it, feel free to reach out to a training expert!

Core Principles offers expert personal trainers to help individuals find the help they need to gain strength, lose weight, and achieve many other health goals. If you are looking for the best personal trainer in Melbourne, get in touch with us today!

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