Many of us have experienced stiff and sore muscles starting a day or two after a workout and have probably wondered what could be going wrong. The good news is that feeling sore after a workout is perfectly normal and in fact is a sign that your body is adapting to your exercise program by increasing its level of physical fitness. The condition is known in sports medicine as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and it tends to occur after you have started an eccentric muscle exercise program.
DOMS usually starts between 24 and 48 hours after the initial exercise program and may continue for a few days. The correct reaction to this condition is usually not to rest and wait for it to disappear. Instead, you should continue with your workout program with perhaps a temporary diminution in your intensity level. Additional treatment of delayed onset muscle soreness may include a massage and using menthol based topical analgesics to ease the soreness. We discuss possible treatments in detail below.
What Is The Cause Of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?
Delayed onset muscle soreness is the result of a muscle undergoing a lengthening (or eccentric) contraction. For example, lowering the weight when performing a bicep curl exercise represents the eccentric phase of that exercise.
Other eccentric muscle exercises that may cause DOMS to appear include running downhill, descending stairs and lowering yourself to the ground while doing push ups.
This contraction usually causes microscopic tearing of the skeletal muscle fibers. The tearing leads in turn to inflammation which in turn causes the pain and stiffness of delayed onset muscle soreness. This is the first part of an adaptation process in which your muscle groups increase in size and strength to handle the greater demands you are now making of them. In sports medicine, this process of increasing in size is known as “muscle hypertrophy”.
Contrary to what some people believe, soreness after exercise is not unique to “weekend warriors” or to individuals who only exercise occasionally. It can happen to anyone, from serious professional athletes to weekend basketball players.
Symptoms Of DOMS
The following is a complete list of the possible symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness:
Pain & stiffness in your joints & muscles;
Soreness in your muscles and a “tender to the touch feeling”;
Decreased range of motion of your muscles and joints (due to the pain and stiffness you are feeling);
Decreased muscle strength;
One thing to note is that if you start to experience muscle pain and/or stiffness immediately after exercise (or even while you are still exercising) this is not a symptom of delayed onset muscle soreness.Instead, it may be a completely different condition known as acute muscle soreness.
Acute muscle soreness is due to the accumulation of lactic acid in muscle tissues and will usually disappear shortly after you complete your workout. If it does not, you may have suffered another injury such as a muscle strain.
Treatment Of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
There are many alternative ways to reduce the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness.
One thing that will not cause them to go away is refraining from your exercise program to give your body a rest. The only thing to do is wait until your DOMS symptoms naturally recede while continuing your workouts.
Mitigating DOMS Symptoms
However, while you are waiting for your DOMS to resolve itself naturally, there are several things you can do to ease your discomfort:
Get a massage. It will improve your circulation and this increased blood flow will help to reduce your muscle soreness;
If getting a massage is not convenient (probably due to social distancing requirements) you can try a self massage tool such as the Original Tiger Tail;
If you are familiar with the use of a foam roller, you can use one to achieve a similar effect to a massage;
As mentioned above, topical analgesics can be effective in reducing the discomfort of delayed onset muscle soreness. Try to choose a menthol based analgesic for this purpose. If you can find one that also contains arnica, it will likely be even more effective;
Pain killing medications such as Tylenol may also be effective if your symptoms are severe;
A warm shower or bath can help to increase your blood circulation and reduce the symptoms of DOMS;
Wearing compression sleeves or other garments can also help to increase blood circulation and reduce the symptoms of DOMS;
Among professional athletes, there is growing use of ice baths to counter the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness;
Consider making changes to what you eat immediately after a workout, especially one that includes eccentric exercise. Increasing your intake of protein right after a workout will help your body to repair those microscopic muscle tears that much more quickly. This in turn can decrease the duration of your delayed onset muscle soreness symptoms.
Prevention Of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Although you are unlikely to be able to completely prevent DOMS, you may have some success in reducing the intensity of its symptoms by gradually increasing the intensity of your exercise program. A sudden significant increase in training intensity will cause greater muscle tearing and more severe DOMS symptoms.
Gradually increasing your exercise intensity will have another, more important, benefit. It will also reduce your risk of getting injured.
Although some believe that stretching before exercise can help to prevent DOMS, there is no evidence to support this. Stretching, like warming up, can of course help to reduce the risk of injuries sprains or strains but it has not been demonstrated to reduce the incidence of DOMS.
Choose the LP Support Arm Power Sleeve and enjoy the ability of its Power Band and Regulation Area to maintain an optimal compression level, minimize your energy wastage and improve your kinetic capacity.
The BioFreeze Professional – 3 oz Roll On is a pain relief product that, when applied, causes menthol to bind with temperature sensitive receptors in the skin and produce a cold sensation to overwhelm the pain signals that would otherwise be felt.
The BioFreeze Professional – 4 oz Spray is a pain relief product that, when applied, causes menthol to bind with temperature sensitive receptors in the skin and produce a cold sensation to overwhelm the pain signals that would otherwise be felt.
The BioFreeze Professional – 4 oz Tube is a pain relief product that, when applied, causes menthol to bind with temperature sensitive receptors in the skin and produce a cold sensation to overwhelm the pain signals that would otherwise be felt.
The Mueller Sports Medicine EASYfit® Kinesiology Tape applications are designed to be simple to use and can help relieve certain overuse injuries. Three (3) applications in each package for the knee, shoulder, foot/arch, calf/ankle/neck and waist/back applications. Six (6) applications in each package for the X & Y pattern applications.
The LP EmbioZ Arm Compression Sleeve has a Power System as well as Power Band & Square Buffer features to improve throwing, smashing and similar actions. The Power System functions to increase stability and proprioception of your elbow-wrist continuous movement and improve the accuracy of your upper extremity movements. The Power Band & Square Buffer surface designs help to enhance your sensory input and further improve your proprioception. The Power System also improves the performance of your upper extremity energy chain during flexion and extension movements. It increases the effectiveness of your energy accumulation and therefore enhances your performance of actions like throwing, shooting (in basketball, for example), hitting, smashing and bowling motions.
The Power System of the LP EmbioZ Back Support Compression Top helps to enhance explosive and efficient use of your upper torso muscles. The LP EmbioZ Back Support Compression Top has a Power System positioned over the shoulders and the center of your torso. The Power System improves your proprioception in the region of your torso muscles and medial scapula. It also increases your torso and thorax flexibility. You will also experience better upper limb co-ordination and fluency. The Power System mimics the behavior of kinesiology tape by allowing your skin to slide and recoil over the underlying muscles and promote the resupply to these muscles of freshly oxygenated blood and the removal of metabolic waste. It also helps to increase your energy levels and improve the explosive power of throwing, shooting (as in basketball) smashing and spiking actions. The Compression Top will help optimize your performance in sports like baseball (pitching), volleyball, track & field, rifle shooting, gymnastics and archery. To get the best results from this product, we suggest positioning the 3D Weaved Channel below your chest.
The LP EmbioZ Calf Compression Sleeve features a Power Band around your calf muscles that will help to enhance your lower extremity kinetic chain movements between the leg and ankle. This Band helpsyour skin to move against your underlying muscles as you make your regular movements. Like kinesiology tape, the Band uses the resulting forces of pressure, elasticity and recoil to promote the infusion of fresh blood to your calves. In addition, the same forces help to promote the removal of metabolic waste and lymphatic fluids from the calf muscles. The result of these actions is increased freshness of your calf muscles for longer periods. This will in turn improve athletic performance. The sleeve also applies compression to the calf to further support the replenishment of freshly oxygenated blood to the area. Compression also helps to further accelerate lymphatic fluid and waste material removal from the calf area. As a result, you maintain higher energy levels for longer than would otherwise be the case.
The LP EmbioZ Elbow Compression Sleeve uses an innovative Power System and the principles of compression technology to improve your performance by enhancing your energy levels, promoting proprioception and improving your overall technique and efficiency in actions involving the elbow joint. It will also reduce your risk of injury. Try it out and you will be amazed. The Power System uses the same concepts on which kinesiology tape is based to promote the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid through the elbow area. As with kinesiology tape, the Power System uses the siding movement of the skin against underlying muscles as normal movements are performed to improve the flow of fresh blood into the targeted area (the elbow in this case) and the removal of metabolic waste from it. The Power System also applies compression to the elbow area. The two features described above (simulation of kinesiology tape and compression) both help you to maintain higher energy levels for longer and to keep performing at a high level. They also reduce the risk of injuries like muscle strains.
The LP EmbioZ Leg Compression Sleeve features a Power Band positioned along your upper and lower legs that enhances your lower limb kinetic chain between the knee and ankle. The LP EmbioZ Leg Compression Sleeve will help you to improve your athletic performance enhancement, use energy more efficiently and avoid injury courtesy of it unique Power Band allied to no-seam design and compressive properties. Wear the Power Band over your outer and inner thighs as well as your calves. You will find that it helps to improve your lower limb proprioception. This in turn improves your ability to detect and avoid unnatural limb movements or positions. This will contribute to a reduction in your risk of injury. The Power Band will also improve the effectiveness of your lower limbs when you need to use them as a kinetic chain. It will help to improve your ability to store and release energy more explosively when flexing and extending your knee. The result of this will be more explosive power when pedaling, kicking, sprinting and jumping.The Power Band also simulates the effect of kinesiology tape by allowing the skin under it to slide and recoil against adjacent muscles. This promotes the delivery of freshly oxygenated blood to your muscles. In addition, it promotes the removal of lymphatic fluid and other metabolic waste from tired muscles. As a result, you will discover an improvement in your ability to delay the onset of muscle fatigue. You will therefore maintain higher performance levels for longer.
The LP EmbioZ Leg Support Compression Tights includes a Power System that acts on your lower body to improve your blood & lymphatic circulation, leading to greater muscle endurance and higher efficiency of your lower body kinetic chain. Combined with a seamless design and its Comfort System, these tights will raise your performance to higher levels while you enjoy higher comfort levels during training or competition.
The LP EmbioZ Shoulder Support Compression Top (Long Sleeves) kinetic chain efficiency through your upper body and increases the fluency and power of throwing, striking or other similar actions. The Shoulder Support Compression Top (Long Sleeves) features a Power System running down the middle of your shoulders, trunk, forearms and upper arms. It also includes a Comfort System to wick away perspiration. This ensures that your body remains adequately ventilated. The Top also boasts a seamless construction that helps to improve your comfort level. To get the best results from your use of the Top, we suggest that you position its 3D Weaved Channel under your chest.
The LP EmbioZ Shoulder Support Compression Top (Short Sleeves) uses a Power System around your shoulders and the center of your trunk. The Power System helps to correct shoulder movement patterns. It also allows for appropriate extension of your spine to improve upper body movement accuracy. Additionally, it helps improve the accuracy and efficiency of overhead movements. As with the Long Sleeved version of the Compression Top, the Power System of the LP EmbioZ Shoulder Support Compression Top (Short Sleeves) will help maximize your energy levels. The compression will keep your upper body muscles supplied with freshly oxygenated blood. It will also promote removal of metabolic waste and similar materials. The Power System will help the efficiency and effectiveness of your upper body kinetic chain. As a result, you will experience greater explosive power in smashing, spiking and throwing actions. The Compression Top’s Comfort System helps to wick away sweat. It quickly ventilates your body to keep it dry. The no seam design helps you to get the therapeutic benefit of compression with no sacrifice of comfort.
The LP EmbioZ Thigh Compression Sleeve features a Power System that improves the lower extremity kinetic chain, from the thigh to the knee.
The key feature of the LP EmbioZ Thigh Compression Sleeve is a Power System that serves to improve your upper leg kinetic chain, extending from your thigh to your knee. The Power System stabilizes your knee movements and helps to prevent excessive twisting. As with the other members of the LP EmbioZ range, the Thigh Compression Sleeve also helps to increase proprioception. In addition, it helps to enhance the effectiveness and accuracy of your knee movements.
The Power System runs along your thigh muscles and also decreases muscle oscillation. In addition to these benefits, the Power System improves the performance of the lower extremity kinetic chain by more effectively accumulating energy during flexion. This improved efficiency enhances sports performance of activities such as jumping or kicking. You will see the benefit of this performance improvement in sports like soccer, volleyball, basketball or other sports with significant jumping or kicking activity.
LP EmbioZ Thigh Support Compression Shorts feature a Power System on the hips and thighs to correct your hip movement patterns and facilitate advanced muscular thigh performance. This raises your speed and accuracy and helps you to complete your hip and knee movements flawlessly. The Comfort System helps wick away perspiration and keeps you dry and comfortable. The seamless design keeps you comfortable while you benefit from therapeutic compression.
The LP EmbioZ Waist Support Compression Top features a Power System around your shoulders, waist and back to optimize your upper body movement patterns. The LP EmbioZ Waist Support Compression Top offers a Power System around your shoulders, waist and back. The Power System helps to correct your upper body movement patterns. It supports appropriate spinal rotation to improve upper body movement accuracy. Additionally, it will help you to improve the efficiency of complex upper limb and waste movements. In addition to the benefits of the Power System, the Compression Top’s Comfort System helps to wick away perspiration. This helps to ventilate your body quickly to keep it dry. It also helps to optimize your comfort level during extended training sessions. As with other LP EmbioZ performance garments like the LP EmbioZ Back Support Compression Top, the no seam compression allows you to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of compression with no sacrifice of wearing comfort. For optimal results, we suggest that you ensure that you position the Compression Top’s 3D Weaved Channel in line with your chest.
Use DynaPro Kinesiology RestoreTape for possible relief from pain and faster recovery from aching and sore muscles, damaged ligaments, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, strained muscles /tendons and many other overuse injuries. Available in colours black, blue, beige and red and in lengths of either 5M or 31.5M. Hypoallergenic, latex free and waterproof. May be effective even for periods as long as 4-5 days.
Mueller Sports Medicine Kinesiology Tape – 5m Continuous Roll is a great choice for rapid rehabilitation for your sore, weak or injured muscles and joints. With its revolutionary wave pattern adhesive, it will lift your skin as you move to optimize your circulation and promote early recovery to full health. You cn wear it for up to 5 days at a time. Made from pure high grade cotton. Latex free, highly elastic and breathable in order to perform its “lifting” function more effectively.
The LP Support Knee Power Sleeve will raise your sports performance to new levels by enhancing your muscle balance, improving the efficiency of your energy usage and boosting kinetic chain energy efficiency.
The LP X-Tremus Elbow Support helps you to enhance your sports performance as well as avoid injury. Its innovative Magic Power Band and Stable Contoured Structurel help you raise your training and competition to new levels and simultaneously mitigates tennis and golfer’s elbow as well as general elbow soreness.
The LP X-Tremus Knee Brace targets the entire knee and provides maximum support with it’s 3-Dimensional knitting structure and donut shaped silicone pad combined with close circle high-density knitted fabric to improve patella stability.Other key features include bilateral spiral stays to support your knee, a double C pattern Stable Contoured Structure adjacent to the knee cap for extra joint stability, and a Y pattern Magic Power Band to conserves energy consumption during flexion and extension movements. Available in sizes Small to 3X-Large.