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  • Writer's pictureDan

What is Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

Updated: Nov 5

Do you ever feel like you've been hit by a truck after a tough workout? That's because you have! Well, sort of. What you're experiencing is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS for short. DOMS is a common condition that occurs when we exercise, especially when we do activities that our body is not accustomed to, such as lifting heavier weights or running longer distances. DOMS is the result of microscopic tears in muscle fibers that lead to inflammation and pain, which can last for days. DOMS can make even the simplest of tasks, such as sitting down or brushing your hair, feel like a nightmare. It can be a real pain in the butt, literally. For instance, sitting down on the toilet after leg day can feel like a death sentence. And don't even get me started on the struggle of brushing your hair after an intense upper body workout. It's like your arms have turned into wet noodles.

So, what can you do to manage DOMS and speed up the recovery process? The good news is that there are several things you can do to alleviate the discomfort and get back to feeling like yourself again.

First and foremost, get some rest. Rest is essential for your body to repair damaged tissues and build new ones. So, if you're not getting enough sleep, you're likely to experience more severe DOMS symptoms. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and avoid staying up too late or using electronic devices before bedtime, as this can interfere with your sleep quality.

Next up, make sure you're drinking enough water. Dehydration can make your muscles more susceptible to damage, and it takes longer for them to recover. Aim for at least 8 cups of water a day, and if you're doing intense workouts, you may need to drink even more. You can also add electrolytes to your water, such as sodium and potassium, to help your body retain fluids and prevent cramping.

Engaging in light exercise, such as walking or gentle str

Stretching, can also help alleviate DOMS by increasing blood flow to the affected muscles and reducing inflammation. Foam rolling and using a massage ball can also be helpful, as they can release tension and tightness in the muscles. Heat therapy, such as taking a warm bath or using a heating pad, can also be soothing, while ice therapy can help reduce swelling and pain.

Leg day parking ticket
If only this was available

If you're still feeling sore after trying these methods, you can also take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, be sure to follow the recommended dosage and avoid taking them for extended periods of time, as they can have side effects and may interfere with your body's natural healing process.

And if all else fails, treat yourself to a professional massage or other form of self-care, such as a relaxing bath or a good book. Remember, it's important to take care of your body and listen to its needs, especially when it's telling you to slow down and rest.

So, the next time you're hobbling around like a newborn deer after a tough workout, just remember that you're not alone. DOMS affects many people, and it's a sign that you're pushing yourself to your limits. But with a little self-care and rest, you'll be back to crushing your fitness goals in no time.

Keep up the great work, you sore but strong warrior!

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