You have likely encountered "delayed onset muscle soreness," or DOMS if you have ever worked out.
The term DOMS refers to a syndrome that is characterized by soreness and stiffness in the muscles that appear 12 to 24 hours after activity, with the worst soreness appearing 24 to 72 hours after exercise. When someone starts a new fitness program or modifies any aspect of their current routine—such as volume, intensity, or activity choice—they are most likely to experience DOMS.
A common misperception regarding DOMS is that it is caused by lactic acid accumulation in the muscle, but in reality, it is caused by many-minute rips in the muscle fibers. Exercise puts a lot of physical strain on muscles; therefore, these little rips are a normal reaction. We experience muscular hypertrophy, or the growth of our muscles, as a result of those tears mending.
Studies have indicated that most tears that result in DOMS occur during the eccentric phase of muscular contraction. The muscle reaches its usual length during the eccentric period. When performing a push-up or trunk flexion, or when lowering oneself during a biceps curl, for instance, one is exhibiting an eccentric contraction of the muscles. It's critical to realize that DOMS is not exercise-induced discomfort.
Nobody ought to suffer while exercising. Any discomfort you experience when exercising usually indicates a problem that has to be addressed right away. It should be difficult but not painful to exercise. Pain is frequently an indicator that your form is incorrect or that you are utilizing too much weight.
Regrettably, there are strategies to lessen the consequences of DOMS, but not much can be done to avoid it. First, before you exercise, always be sure to warm up your muscles. You should be perspiring and have a faster heart rate. Muscles gain flexibility and resilience through an increase in heat and blood flow.
Growing too rapidly might result in soreness in the muscles and injuries. After your workout, you should always take a moment to cool down. A foam roll or stretch is a great way to wrap up your exercise. DOMS can be treated with ice packs, massages, and oral painkillers. It has also been demonstrated that a short stroll following a hard workout can help shorten the duration of DOMS symptoms.
It also serves as a reminder to avoid working the same muscle groups over the next several days. Utilize your rest days; they are essential for muscle growth and restoration.