What is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) ?
One of the pet peeves someone dwelling into exercising, whether as a beginner or seasoned athlete is to contend with muscle soreness. Muscle soreness is usually experienced after a bout of exercise or an individual participating in an entirely new routine or sport.
Do you know that there are effective ways to address muscle soreness and if executed regularly pre or post workout, can drastically shorten your recovery time and make you bounce back fresher than ever. In this episode we will discuss the top methods to ease off those sore muscles so as to keep you motivated going into your next exercise session.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
So what exactly is muscle soreness experienced after exercise, well it is generally termed as Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or (DOMS) usually set in 24 hours after a workout session. It is caused by micro tears in the muscle fibers. as the body repairs itself, the soreness will usually go away after a few days.
However, experiencing DOMS is not an indication of a good workout, it usually occurs when a person is engaged in a new workout routine or increased intensity, as the muscles will grow stronger and eventually be accustomed to the routine, the effects of DOMS will taper off.
Provided that you are suffering from DOMs and not any exercise induced injuries, there are effective and science based way to actually manage the soreness and make it go away quicker.
Ways to manage Muscle Soreness
1. Warmup / Cooldown & Stretches
Carry out warmup and cool down stretches before and after your workouts respectively. Do not start your exercise routines on “cold” muscles, stretches ensure ample blood circulation to the muscles, which can not only prevent injuries, it also helps you recover from muscles soreness faster.
2. Incremental Intensity
to increase your workout intensities gradually. Be it lifting weight, running, spinning soccer or any kind of sports, first assess your fitness level, and start at a level that corresponds with something your body can handle before turning up the dial.
Always keep yourself hydrated, before, during and long after your workout sessions. A hydrated body ensures nutrients get efficiently circulated to the muscles, which speeds up the recovery process.
4. Alternate Hot Cold Bath & Warming Muscle Cream
In fact, a good bath can also help to soothe muscle sores. However there is a technique behind it, which is to run warm and cold water over the sore area at intervals of 2 mins each. This helps to encourage blood circulation and thereby speeding up recovery.
5. Pain patches or muscle cream
A more convenient way would be to apply muscle warming creams or pain patches, such as KOLI plasters. KOLI plasters smells so therapeutically fragrant. They don’t propagate a sharp stingy sensation and the warming feeling stays consistent over a few hours. Best of all, even with sensitive skin, patching these plasters up do not result in rashes like some other brands might cause.
The other interesting collaboration between KOLI and another entity known as Asia Pharm SG is that they have collaborated to formulate a professional edition pain relief patch that is targeted for workers who experience discomfort whilst engaged in physical work. Such as during the pandemic, for medical professionals such as nurses and doctors who have to work extended hours in healthcare establishments. This version can only be bought at Louree.com, do give it a try!
6. Eat Well and Sleep Well
Make sure you are properly rested and eating well. For adults, commit to more than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep and consume high protein and complex carbohydrates foods to ensure proper muscle recovery.
Try water melons and cherries, they have nutrients and antioxidants that are said to reduce the discomfort from sore muscles!
7. Active Rest
Last but not the least will be a post workout activity known as active resting. Like what the term says, after a bout of intense workout session, it can be followed up by engaging in lower intensity workouts such as brisk walking or light exercises in the succeeding days ahead. This will prevent stiffness in the muscles and encourage overall blood circulation which will help in the recovery process.
Difference between injury and muscle soreness
Always remember that DOMS usually set in hours after a workout and come in a form of aching soreness. If you experience sharp pain or sensations that do not feel right during or right after the activity, there might be a chance that an injury, such as a sprain, has occurred. If in doubt, always seek a medical professional to look into the issue.
By : Alvin Ho
B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)