Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a common physiological response experienced by athletes after initiating or resuming an exercise routine, after increasing exercise intensity, or after performing eccentric forms of activity. Delayed onset muscle soreness has been associated with minor to severe pain occurring 24 to 72 hours after the exercise bout. Athletic performance may be hampered due to DOMS, loss of range of motion, and
decreased muscle strength. While these symptoms may be temporary and part of the natural process of strength and conditioning training, the ramifications for sports performance during competition may be staggering. Therefore, it is beneficial to utilise modalities like massage that could either prevent the onset or decrease the impact of DOMS.
Whilst there is still a lot of conversation and theories about the exact cause and treatment of DOMS the likely culprit in DOMS is trauma to muscle fibres that aren’t properly conditioned. Resistance training creates tiny tears in muscle fibre, causing the muscles to become sore and inflamed which, in turn, leads to the classic symptoms of soreness and stiffness people may experience. Any type of exercise can cause DOMS, but eccentric movements (muscle stretching whilst contracting) like running downhill, negative pull ups, negative presses or almost any downward weightlifting exercise that cause a muscle to forcefully contract while it lengthens seems to be what causes the most soreness.
Luckily, there are various ways of preventing and treating DOMS. Massage and ice can help temporarily ease the symptoms. Reducing muscle soreness after working out is includes doing a good warm-up beforehand to help increase the temperature of the muscles before placing them under stress. Massage guns are becoming a popular way into warmups as a quick way to bring blood flow into the muscle, but we recommend you know what you are doing prior to using instruments.
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