Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): Why Is The First Day Of Workout So Tough?

It’s your first day at exercise after a long while. You start off well and feel good after your fitness session. Suddenly at night, you get this sore and painful feeling in your muscles. Next day in the morning you are unable to do simple chores that require minimum muscle effort. Is this feeling familiar? Medicine has a technical name for it. It is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is occasionally called muscle fever.

DOMS is considered temporary muscle damage and inflammation that might follow a strenuous physical activity that made your muscles work more than they typically work on a normal day for you. It is a kind of muscle strain that peaks in the first two days of a new strenuous physical activity and might subside within four days. It can happen to anybody irrespective of how fit they might be.

Why is your muscle soreness after a workout?

As per studies, DOMS or this muscle soreness can be taken as a micro trauma to your muscles. When a person suddenly gets into physical activity and might use their muscles more than usual, it can result in micro-tears of the tissue. This can further cause inflammation and the inflammatory chemicals released by your body can make the experience painful. Symptoms might include muscle stiffness, pain and even swelling. There have been some theories that suggested that lactic acid build-up can cause pain but many new types of research say that lactic acid might have nothing to do with this soreness. Exercises that cause the muscle to lengthen when it is under some tension can cause this kind of soreness. The experience of discomfort can range from slight pain to restricting pain that interferes with your routine activities. The symptoms might be present in the time window of 24 to 72 hours after the strenuous activity was performed for the first time.

How can you heal DOMS?

While some people might glorify DOMS as a healthy sign of workout, it is necessary for you to not overdo physical activity and never try to push your limits. DOMS can make you leave your fitness regime or put a pause on it for a while. However, it is advised that unless the pain is debilitating, it is good to engage in some light physical activity as complete rest can worsen the symptoms. Another way you can heal this muscle soreness is by taking a massage, taking a hot or cold water shower or if the pain is too difficult to bear, analgesics or pain killers can help.

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