DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is the pain and stiffness you feel in your muscles after engaging in physical activity, particularly if it involves eccentric contractions (when the muscle lengthens while under tension). DOMS typically peaks 24-72 hours after exercise and can last up to a week.
While DOMS is a normal response to exercise and is generally not a cause for concern, it can be uncomfortable and interfere with your ability to perform everyday activities. Here are some ways to alleviate DOMS:
- Rest and recovery: Allow your body time to recover and rest the affected muscles. Avoid overworking the sore muscles until they have fully recovered.
- Stretching: Gentle stretching can help ease DOMS by increasing blood flow to the affected muscles and reducing muscle tension.
- Massage: Massaging the affected muscles can help increase blood flow and reduce muscle tension, which can help alleviate DOMS.
- Heat therapy: Applying heat to the affected area can help relax the muscles and increase blood flow, which can help alleviate DOMS.
- Cold therapy: Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with DOMS.
- Over-the-counter pain relief: Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help alleviate the pain associated with DOMS.
- Gradual exercise: Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of exercise can help prevent DOMS in the future.