UNDERSTANDING DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS (D.O.M.S)


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UNDERSTANDING DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS (D.O.M.S)

Muscle soreness felt a day or two after a heavy bout of exercise is not totally understood. Muscle soreness usually occurs when we effectively train in our lactate system, due to lactic acid building up and due to glucose not completely breaking down in a muscle. Because this pain does not happen immediately, it is referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is classified as a type I muscle strain and can vary from slight muscle stiffness to severe injuries. As a fellow exerciser I understand DOMS is a literal pain and sometimes can be a little scary. So below is list of ways to better understand what to do with all different levels of DOMS:

 

1. Muscle feels tight - testosterone levels raised, fibers are inflamed = Duration 1-3 days

  • No special treatment required

Comes after a light and effective workout has occurred

 

2. Slight soreness - testosterone levels raised, fibers are inflamed and fatigued = Duration 1-3 days

  • No special treatment required

Comes after an effective workout has occurred

 

3. Soreness (most common) - testosterone levels raised, fibers are inflamed and fatigued, it's harder to move the sore muscle due to stiffness = Duration 1-4 days

  • Avoid exercising sore muscle until soreness is completely gone

Comes after a very effective workout has occurred

 

4. Extreme soreness - testosterone levels raised, fibers are inflamed and fatigued,

explosive movements in sore area can create long term strain in muscle, it's harder to move the sore muscle due to extreme stiffness = Duration 3-10 days

  • Light targeted exercise activity is required to remobilize the sore muscle
  • Avoid extensively exercising the sore muscle until soreness is completely gone

Comes after doing little to no exercise in the targeted area and then performing effective workout

 

5. Muscles immobile, fluids have built up, and it's very swollen (can be very scary) - testosterone levels raised, major muscular trauma has occurred, tendon is probably strained (connects muscle to bone), = Duration 2-6 weeks

  • Avoid any movement at all in targeted area until swelling has left (usually takes 1-2 weeks)
  • Avoid exercising the muscle until about 3 weeks after swelling has gone down.

Comes after doing little to no exercise in the targeted area and then performing an overly effective workout (rarely ever happens more than once)

 

Anything beyond this warrants an emergency medical visit


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