DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) occurs 12-72 hours after performing or participating in a form of physical activity your body is not used to, with the greatest pain often experienced 24-72 hours post-exercise. This may include aerobic activities such as riding a bike, going hiking, or swimming as well as strengthening activities such as performing squats, lifting weights, or jogging/running. Anyone can experience this, whether a professional athlete trying out a new strengthening routine or a novice to physical activity.
When returning to exercise or performing new forms of physical activity, including a physical therapy program, muscles are required that may have not been used in a while. Because of this, microscopic damage may occur to those muscles. DOMS is thought to result secondary to this, as your body is working to repair and heal this damage. Some symptoms that may be associated with DOMS include muscle soreness, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, and possible temporary decreased strength and range of motion.
Although DOMS cannot be prevented altogether, ways to minimize its effects include slow, gradual progression of an exercise routine, proper warmup and cool down phases, and adequate stretching. It is also critical to take rest days, vary types of exercise, and alternate muscles targeted during strengthening routines. Ice, massage, and a temporary break for the physical activity may be beneficial in reducing pain if you are experiencing DOMS. Always remember, seek out professional medical advice and ask your PT to help correct any impairments to reduce further injury or re-injury!
Hohman Rehab treats a wide variety of patients with pain, weakness, and injury in the Clermont 34711 area and the Ocoee 34761 area!