You have felt it the worst when you first began exercising and you felt it after a lay off from exercise for any reason. If you are doing exercise correctly, you will feel it again, but it doesn’t truly indicate it was a “good” workout every single time. Yes, I am talking about delayed onset muscle soreness of DOMS. Sometimes a little soreness won’t interfere with your day-to-day activities, but there are other times you’ll feel like Betty White going up the stairs.
You can get DOMS anywhere from 12-48 hours after a workout. It occurs from microscopic tears within muscle tissues which is what occurs while you do workouts. It is a signal from your body that repair work is going on so that your body can be better prepared for the workouts you are giving it. The pain goes away after a few days.
How to Treat DOMS
There is no tried-and-true treatment for DOMS, but there are several steps you can take to help minimize its severity:
- Ibuprofen: Low-dose, over-the-counter painkillers—and Ibuprofen in particular, which has specifically been shown to decrease muscle soreness—will help take the edge off of severe cases of DOMS.
- Gentle Stretching: When muscles are in recovery mode they tend to tighten up, exacerbating feelings of soreness. Slow, gentle stretching of the area will relieve that tight feeling and diffuse the pain.
- Massage: Massaging a sore muscle can help reduce tightness while promoting blood flow, which in turn helps speed recovery, thus shortening the duration of DOMS.
- Warm Bath: As with massage, warm water will loosen up tight muscles and improve circulation. Better circulation means more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood coming to the rescue of your aching muscles.
- Hot/Cold Treatment: Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes, followed by a heat pack for another 15, and back again. Studies have shown alternating cold with hot to be highly effective in promoting both circulation and muscle recuperation.
About the Author
Dexter Tenison, MSS, CFT is the owner of Memphis Adventure Boot Camp, voted Memphis’ Best Health Club. If you’re ready to begin your fat loss journey please call 901-214-5573 right now to receive a complimentary nutrition and fitness Consultation (valued at $97). If you’re not yet ready for our free consultation offer, please visit http://www.memphisadventurebootcamp.com/free-offer/ to instantly download a free report of Dexter sharing his “5 Tips to Supercharge Your Fat Loss”.