D.O.M.S – That Sore Feeling!

That feeling…Oh that feeling the day after a training session when you can hardly get out of bed and walk down the stairs :0 

D.O.M.S is the abbreviation for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Some individuals have this condition regularly and others only from time to time. We’ll look at factors affecting this but first let’s understand the condition further. 

There are conflicting views on what DOMS actually is and what chemicals are involved. According to the NHS “When muscles are required to work harder than they’re used to, or in a different way, it’s believed to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness.

DOMS is often mistakenly believed to be caused by lactic acid build up, but lactic acid isn’t involved in this process.”

The DOMS can begin immediately after exercise and the pain can peak even up to 48 hours after the exercise originally finished. DOMS can affect individuals of any fitness level. I can particularly relate to this when i’ve been abroad for over a week. The days that follow the first gym session back involve me walking like John Wayne. More recently if miss a squat session for over a week, then DOMS come back with a vengeance

After the 48 hour period you should expect the pain to decrease however sometimes it can take your body longer to recover. Another example of DOMS for me was when I went Go Karting for my stag do last year. As much as I regularly train, lifting light and heavy weights, I still suffered the next day. As the movments involved with Karting were different to what I usually experience, it physically challenged my body in new ways and therefore my body ached all over next day. One could argue my banging hangover probably contributed to that too!

I personally have tried many different techniques to assist recovery including hot/cold showers, longee post workout cool downs and appropriate nutritional recovery foods. Results varied however as long as I kept myself moving at work that seemed to take my mind off the burn!

If you regularly train and feel DOMS or soreness after every training session then this can be a sign of overtraining or insuffienct rest whereby your body isn’t able to recover enough or isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to repair itself. 

As with any feeling of pain, if you’re unsure about suffering persistent long bouts of soreness then do seek medical advice.

Sources: www.nhs.uk

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