Having difficulty walking down or up the stairs?
Can’t quite sit on the toilet?
Finding walking a strain?
You may very well be suffering from self-induced DOMS- that being ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’, which can last anything from 2-5 days after a heavy exercise session.
What are DOMS?
As weight training places unaccustomed -extra- weight on our body and our muscles this can lead to DOMS. This is most frequently felt when you begin a new exercise program, change your old exercise routine, or dramatically increase the duration or intensity of your program.
Although it can be alarming for those new to training, delayed onset muscle soreness is a totally normal response to unusual exertion and is part of your body’s adaption process which leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build.
What are the symptoms of DOMS?
The most common symptoms of DOMS are pain in your muscles, swelling, tenderness on touch, stiffness or a reduction in range of motion and temporary reduction in strength of your muscles. As previously mentioned, after a few days, this subsides completely.
What causes DOMS?
Basically, the new exercise or extra load causes microscopic damage to your muscle fibres and a build up of chemicals in your muscle cells. This change causes inflammation and stimulates nerve endings which cause the tenderness and pain you might feel!
However, once you start to heal, your muscles repair themselves and become more resistant to damage from that particular exercise.
Should I train when I am suffering from DOMS?
Although you might not feel like it, it is actually quite beneficial to train a little while suffering from DOMS but allow yourself rest days to recover properly, as recommended by your trainer. You don’t want to over-do it or run the risk of muscle tears or a real injury.
So what can you do to prevent DOMS?
Ok, so there is not a great deal you can do to prevent DOMS, but foam rolling, sports massage, ice baths, gentle yoga, pool sessions and and some light stretching all play their part in making you feel a whole lot more comfortable.
As a final word…think of DOMS like a big massive bruise….all over body…and every time you move, your bruise is being pressed by everyone around you…that’s KIND of what it feels like 🙂