Muscle Soreness or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is that type of muscle soreness, muscle stiffness or muscle pain which arises a couple of days following exercise or strenuous activity.
Muscle Soreness – What Causes Those Achy Muscles?
Muscle soreness is commonly experienced after extraordinary physical exertion and it is considered part of the process which helps to build stamina. It is extremely painful from its onset till 2 days later, but then gradually diminishes.
The muscle fibers are torn along with the connective tissues. These tiny injuries are called micro damage. The amount of damage to the muscles is determined by the toughness, duration and the type of exercise. Muscle soreness is mainly caused by eccentric muscle contractions, i.e. movements that cause the muscle to forcefully contract while it stretches. Sore muscles are normally experienced after working out, playing sports, doing house work, etc. Some reasons for sore muscles:
- Doing an activity that you are not used to doing, e.g. running a marathon when you normally jog just a few miles.
- Intensifying and increasing duration of workout.
- Eccentric exercises, e.g. walking/running downhill, going downstairs, extending your arm during a bicep curl, lowering weights and the up and downward motion of leg squats and push-ups.
Muscle Soreness – Symptoms Of Muscles That Have Been Punished
The symptoms of muscle soreness or DOMS are:
- Aching pain
- Strength loss
- Muscle tenderness
- Muscle stiffness
- Muscle swelling
These symptoms develop between 24 to 48 hours after the onset of exercise activity. Loss of strength reaches its peak within 48 hours of an exercise activity and takes 5 days to be recovered. Pain and tenderness reaches its maximum limit between 1 to 3 days after the exercise session and diminishes after 7 days. Stiffness and swelling usually peak 3-4 days after exercise.