Did you get in a great workout session yesterday, but can’t even walk straight today? Is the aching sensation so bad that it hurts to put on your socks? If this sounds like you, it looks like you might have a nasty case of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
If you’re wondering what DOMS is and whether the pain will ever go away, we’ve answered all your questions about the condition right here.
What is DOMS?
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) involves stiffness and muscle pain that begins a day or two after physical exercise. It’s different from the pain you feel during or right after a workout, and is usually caused by activity that your body isn’t accustomed to.
DOMS doesn’t necessarily affect out of shape individuals—even athletes can get DOMS when trying a new exercise regimen.
Why do we get DOMS?
Having to deal with severe body pain after an intense workout session seems unfair, but it could be a sign that you’re doing something right. Resistance training causes microscopic tears in the muscles, which heal to become firmer and stronger. At the end of the day, you’re training your muscles to adapt to intense physical exercise.
How to treat DOMS?
A quick solution for reducing the inflammation and helping your muscles relax is a warm bath with Epsom salts. Warm baths dilate blood vessels and promote blood flow to the sore muscles, and Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, which further boosts recovery.
Alternatively, you could also try sitting in a cold bath for as long as you can manage. Many professional athletes use ice baths to combat muscle soreness and inflammation after exercise.
How to avoid DOMS?
The easiest way to avoid DOMS is by slowly training your body for a new exercise or training regimen. Instead of going all in on the first day, slowly bring up the intensity and ensure your muscles are gradually building resistance. This will reduce the chances of the extreme body aches that are characteristic of DOMS.
Another technique is to wear knee-high compression socks as soon as you’re done with your exercise and keep wearing them for 24 hours. The latest research shows that compression stockings reduce the chances of a person contracting DOMS.
Can I work out with DOMS?
Low-intensity exercises are recommended during DOMS because they can accelerate muscle recovery. Restorative yoga, light stretching, and swimming are all excellent ways to stay active and help your body recover faster.
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