Breaking Down Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) or DOMS stands for delayed onset muscle soreness. DOMS refers to the fact that you feel pain in your muscles after exercise. Some studies have shown that DOMS may occur up to 2 weeks after intense physical activity. However, it can happen even later than that if you are not used to doing certain exercises regularly. Many people do not realize they have been suffering from DOMS until they experience it again during their workouts.

The most common causes of DOMS include:

Exercise intensity too low. For example, you might perform a set of squats with only 50% of your maximum strength.

Your muscles will be sore for several hours afterwards. You need to increase the amount of weight or repetitions before you get back into training mode. Exercises performed incorrectly such as overtraining, improper form, or not following proper stretching routines.

How to Get Rid of DOMS?

There are many ways to treat DOMS. There are some things you can try out first, but there are others that might work better for you. These are some of the most effective ways to eliminate DOMS:

Light stretching, static and dynamic stretching, massage therapy, heat/ice therapy, topical analgesics or pain relievers, and keeping hydrated. Over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen can also help with recovery.

What is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness? -Or- What is DOMS?

DOMS is the medical term used to describe the pain and discomfort you feel in your muscles several hours after an intense workout or exercise.

The pain can range from a minor annoyance to an all-consuming, debilitating experience.

These feelings are a normal part of training and generally go away after several days. While some people experience DOMS more than others, healthy adults don’t usually experience anything more than mild muscle soreness after an intense workout.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Effects of a protease supplement on eccentric exercise-induced markers of delayed-onset muscle soreness and muscle damage by TW Beck, TJ Housh, GO Johnson… – Journal of Strength …, 2007 –

Haematological and acute-phase responses associated with delayed-onset muscle soreness in humans by M Gleeson, J Almey, S Brooks, R Cave, A Lewis… – European journal of …, 1995 – Springer

Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva®): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial by F Drobnic, J Riera, G Appendino, S Togni… – Journal of the …, 2014 – Springer

Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures by GEP Pearcey, DJ Bradbury-Squires… – Journal of athletic …, 2015 –

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Delayed onset muscle soreness: mechanisms and management by MJ Cleak, RG Eston – Journal of sports sciences, 1992 – Taylor & Francis

Preventive effects of 10-day supplementation with saffron and indomethacin on the delayed-onset muscle soreness by A Meamarbashi, A Rajabi – Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 2015 –