Don’t be a sore sport: delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

SPRING! Fiiiiinally, am I right? After a long winter, your body has probably been craving some good, hard, outdoor workouts…and if you spent the winter huddled under warm blankies, you’re probably feeling a wee bit sore.

Wondering what your aches and pains are about? Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), that’s what. Here are some more things DOMS related you’re probably wondering about:

What causes DOMS?! Uh, not lactic acid in your muscles. A recent study found DOMS is actually due to the microtrauma your muscles and connective tissue go through during exercise. The tiny tears your muscles endure during exercise become inflamed, and that’s  what causes the soreness.

Muscle damage is bad! It sounds bad, but it isn’t. The muscle trauma you experience stimulates protein production and muscle growth, which helps your muscles repair themselves. That means they’ll be a little bigger and stronger; their mechanism to keep the inflammation/soreness at bay.

No Pain No Gain! Not exactly. Studies show being sore the next day isn’t a good indicator of how effective your workout was. Plus too much soreness can be a bad thing – say three days after crushing a workout you immediately go into muscle failure doing the same exercise: you probably did too much the first time around.

Fit people don’t DOMS! Nope. While working out regularly will cause you to feel less sore as your body adapts to your workouts (see above), change it up and you’ll likely find your good friend DOMS again. It’s also genetic: some people are way more sensitive to pain and soreness, no matter how fit they are/aren’t.

How to deal with DOMS?! There are lots of options: sports massage, foam rolling, hot/cold showers, epsom salt baths, topical magnesium and sleeeep.

Think you’re struggling with pain that’s beyond DOMS? You can schedule an appointment with any of our physiotherapists by calling the Orleans, Barrhaven or Westboro office of Ottawa Physiotherapy and Sports Clinics.