You’ve hit the gym for the first time in weeks and had a fantastic time working off some stress on the treadmill. You then head to the weights and feel amazing as you push those muscles to the extreme and the endorphins start to pump round your body.
Two days later you begin to regret even walking in the front door of the gym!
You feel pain burning all over your body and it hurts to even sit at your desk. Welcome to the world of DOMS or also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
Just what is DOMS?
When you put your body under stress (such as a big workout) you can cause tiny tears and damage your muscles as well as the surrounding connective tissues.
These changes can lead to inflammation and the moving of fluid and electrolytes in your body. When your body begins to repair the damage, we start to feel sore. DOMS can usually begin 12 to 24 hours after your workout, with the greatest impact felt anywhere from one to three days later.
Muscle soreness is even more common after you’ve been engaging in an activity that you are generally not used to.
Remember, DOMS is different to an injury. With an injury you can feel this straight away and it can often stop you from being active, DOMS is definitely more of a slow burner.
How can I avoid DOMS?
Avoiding DOMS can be hard to avoid, as you are putting stresses and strains on your body for the first time. However the key message here would be - take it slow and steady.
You might be keen for that workout but if you can engage your body slowly you have more chance avoiding the pain later on. Try less repetitions or lesser weights and ease yourself in!
How can I ease my DOMS pain?
There are a few different methods to easing the pain that is associated with DOMS. However, it’s important to remember we are all individuals so it is vital to find what works for you!
When you are in pain, the last thing you want to do is move but it’s crucial that you keep your body active. By moving gently you are stopping your body from seizing up and will help your muscles relax and loosen up.
Keep Up The Fluids
Research shows keeping your fluid levels high throughout the day can definitely help so keep your water bottle by your side and keep sipping! You could also consider electrolytes to support your recovery.
Give Yourself Time
It’s important to allow your body to cool down properly after any workout. Making time for low-intensity movement at the end of each training session can help to reduce DOMS. You can include static stretching in your cool down or you might also consider using a foam roller to help reduce post-workout muscle soreness.
Try a Massage
Research shows that a good rub down could reduce the inflammatory proteins circulating in the blood after a workout and increases blood and lymph flow.
Consider Your Pain
If your pain continues for more than 3 days and is intense or localised, it might be time to consider a physiotherapist. Pain should not be impacting your health so it’s vital to get the issue identified and managed. Talk to us today about how we may be able to support you.