Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

Also called muscle fever, is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise.

The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. It is thought to be caused by eccentric (lengthening) exercise, which causes microtrauma to the muscle fibers. After such exercise, the muscle adapts rapidly to prevent muscle damage, and thereby soreness, if the exercise is repeated.

Delayed onset muscle soreness is one symptom of exercise-induced muscle damage. The other is acute muscle soreness, which appears during and immediately after exercise.

Prevention

Delayed onset muscle soreness can be reduced or prevented by gradually increasing the intensity of a new exercise program, thereby taking advantage of the repeated-bout effect.

Treatment

The soreness usually disappears within about 72 hours after appearing. If treatment is desired, any measure that increases blood flow to the muscle, such as low-intensity activity, massage, hot baths, or a sauna visit may help somewhat.

Resources:

Costello, Joseph T.; Baker, Philip Ra; Minett, Geoffrey M.; Bieuzen, Francois; Stewart, Ian B.; Bleakley, Chris (2015-09-18). "Whole-body cryotherapy (extreme cold air exposure) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise in adults". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 9: CD010789

Nosaka, Ken (2008). "Muscle Soreness and Damage and the Repeated-Bout Effect". In Tiidus, Peter M. Skeletal muscle damage and repair. Human Kinetics. pp. 59–76. ISBN 978-0-7360-5867-4.

Kokkinos, Peter (2009). Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. Jones & Bartlett Learning. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-0-7637-5612-3.

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