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Soreness 24 hours after exercise? Thank DOMS

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Firstly let’s get acquainted with what DOMS are. DOMS stands for delayed onset muscle soreness which is the muscle pain you feel usually 24 – 48hrs after exercise.

A lot of different things can cause DOMS, but it’s usually as a result of movements that cause a muscle to contract whilst being lengthened e.g. sprinting downhill, dumbbell chest flys and bicep curls.

DOMS aren’t exclusive the those new to exercise, according to the NHS is can occur when you ‘start a new exercise programme, change your exercise routine, or increase the duration or intensity of your regular workout’.

Why do they occur so long after exercise?
DOMS occur thanks to the exercise causing tiny tears in the muscle. This then causes a mix of chemical reactions which go on to irritate nerve endings and result in the delayed muscle soreness.

5 tips for preventing and dealing with DOMS
- Do a warm-up – limbering up and foam rolling will help activate the muscles you are going to use
- Take paracetamol rather than ibuprofen and anti-inflammatories can reduce the muscle’s ability to adapt
- Prevent or reduce the length of DOMS by having a post-exercise ice bath
- Keep active – turning your legs over on a bike or doing alternative exercises can help, some studies have shown that and continuing to exercise won’t increase DOMS
- Once your DOMS have healed continue with the exercise that initially caused them, the more you do it, the less likely your DOMS will return at least not to the same degree).

If you experience the soreness for longer than 10 days you should seek medical advice. If you have severe swelling or bruising or immediate pain rather than delayed pain you should also seek advice.

Sources:  NHS, Huffington Post