Happy New Year to my clients and readers! I have chosen this topic
for the blog as I have had quite a few discussions with clients lately in
regards to their exercise habits that they have increased in the New Year.
You may have heard of DOMS or ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’. It is a
particular type of muscle soreness that sets in a day after exercise. The
exercise is usually very hard or far more than the individual would normally be
muscular contractions (where the muscle
lengthens as it contracts) such as in hopping, bounding and other exercise, running downhill, squatting and the lowering phase when lifting
weights, can cause DOMS.
DOMS usually occurs 12-48 hours post-exercise. Muscle aching and tightness are
the most common symptoms, often resulting in a decreased range of motion. Any
discomfort should start to ease within 3 days post-exercise and return to
normal within a week. If your symptoms persist, it is definitely worth visiting
your Doctor or a sports injury specialist to get it checked.
What causes delayed onset muscle soreness?
DOMS is thought to be caused by microscopic muscle
tears which occur when we exercise harder than usual. This is a normal process
which is required for growth in muscle size and strength. However, if training
is progressed too quickly excessive tearing can occur, which results in DOMS.
Also if you start a sport or exercise which your
body is not accustomed to, DOMS can occur for the first few sessions. This is
one of the reasons why training should start very lightly and progress
Time - allow the muscles to heal without over
stressing them again - wait at least a week and until all symptoms have cleared
before performing the same exercise again.
Remedial Massage within the first 24 hours will
help reduce the effects.
Very light, preferably non weight bearing aerobic exercise
and stretching may also be beneficial to improve the blood flow, warm the
muscles and improve range of motion.
Hydrotherapy and spa baths may help reduce the effects of DOMS.
Alternating hot and cold baths - although there is
no scientific proof that this is effective it is often used by professional
athletes who believe it to be beneficial.
The best way of treating DOMS, is by preventing it!
Always perform a warm-up prior to any high intensity exercise.
Always cool-down and stretch following exercise.
When starting a new activity, do little and often
to allow your muscles to become accustomed to these new strains.
Whether you are a regular exerciser or a beginner,
build-up gradually and allow your body time to recover in between sessions.
As a general rule, do not increase training
intensity and duration by more than 10% per week!
Contact us to schedule a remedial massage for after your next training session and experience the improvement in recovery time and flexibility. Call us on 9227 5946 or call/sms 0422 925 372.