An intense workout can leave you feeling revitalized and refreshed to fatigued and in pain all in the same day. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is the feeling felt in exercised muscles between eight hours and three days following a high-intensity exercise and training regimen. This not only occurs in those who are less physically trained, but it’s also experienced by most people and professional athletes who take part in exercises that can possibly damage your muscle fibers, which is why we’re sharing how to put muscle and back pain behind you.
The exact cause of muscle soreness post-workout has yet to be entirely understood by the scientific community. It’s thought that exercise-induced muscle aches are most likely related to inflammation within the muscle that causes the pain sensation felt by those who do fitness or exercise regularly.
How Inflammation of the Muscle Occurs
The smooth muscle tissue is located in the walls of your blood vessels, the stomach, intestines, and the bladder. If you overstretch your muscle fibers repeatedly, this triggers the onset of micro tears; small tears that can occur within in the muscle fibers. When the muscle fibers tear, the muscle releases several substances that start an inflammatory response in the body. The inflammatory response generates aching symptoms that are thought to be one of the factors to muscle soreness.
Symptoms of Muscle Soreness
It may take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to develop in your body post-workout. The painful symptoms typically last 8 to 72 hours; depending on the severity of the muscle pain. The common symptoms of muscle soreness to look for are the following:
- Aching pain
- Muscle stiffness
- Tenderness of the muscle
Expert Tips to Relieve Exercise Induced Muscle Soreness
- Be sure to warm up properly before engaging in exercise and cool down and stretch properly when finished.
- Rest the affected area. Take a short break from performing the same movements, drills or exercises that induced the soreness. Start with 1-2 days and move to 1-2 weeks until the pain subsides.
- After the first day, if it feels better; change from icing the area to applying heat. Again, remember that you do not need to cook the area, you are just restoring normal blood flow. You can apply your far infrared heating pads or a commercial rub or cream. Ice the affected area to slightly reduce the area’s temperature to relieve any inflammation or swelling. Icing can be done with an ice pack, a bag of frozen vegetables, or even a full water bottle. Ice the area for 20 minutes with the ice on for 20 minutes off for 20 minutes for about an hour to an hour and a half. After icing is complete, be sure to rewarm the area with some gentle massage and light movement.
- Remember to stretch it out. Stretching allows the muscles to return to their length before you constricted them. You are not trying to force them to reach any particular distance.
What’re Your Thoughts?
Taking time to care for your muscles, pre and post workout ensures that achieving the body you want isn’t a pain in the neck!
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.