Get help from best doctors, anonymously
Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments

Doms- What Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?

Dr. Kamalika Bhattacharya 92% (885 ratings)
MSc in Orhopedic Physiotherapy (UK), BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Bangalore  •  21 years experience
Doms- What Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?

Doms- What Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?

Is DOMS stopping you from workout?

The pain or the numbness which you feel post workout is not a pain. It is DOMS! DOMS is typically begins within 12-24 after exercise and it can last up to 72 hours. What happens during DOMS? DOMS develop as a result of microscopic damage to muscle fibers which are involved in the type of exercise you are doing. This damage can be because of the excess stress on particular part of the body during the exercise regime. DOMS is basically a side effect because of damage to the repairing process of the body. 

What causes DOMS? 

Activities which leads to lengthening of muscles with excessive force leads to DOMS. These are the most common examples of activities causing DOMS:- – Jumping exercises. – Aerobic exercises. – Jogging. – Cross fit. – Strength training exercises. – High intensity interval training. Severity of DOMS completely depends upon the type and intensity of force applied on that muscle during that activity. Higher number of repetitions causes more DOMS then lower number of repetitions. 

Can DOMS occur to everyone?  

Well, yes DOMS can occur to everyone who is exercising. It is a myth that DOMS can occur to only those people who are new to exercises. It can happen to people who are working out since ages as well but, the only difference will be the severity of DOMS. If you are exercising since long time, your body gets adapted to it as a result your performance will not be affected completely. If you keep training yourself for the same activity for years, you become less susceptible to DOMS in that particular exercise or activity. 

Is soreness the only cause of DOMS? 

Well no. Here are some most common symptoms of DOMS other than soreness:- – Swelling in the area of extreme pain. – Stiffness of joints. – Tenderness. – Reduced strength. Should you workout the next day with soreness? Most of the people say, they just can’t workout because of the pain. If the pain is extreme and unbearable it is okay not to do extreme exercise but, it completely okay to do some light workouts or something as simple as stretching. If you try and workout the next day, the symptoms of DOMS will start vanishing while you are performing the activity but there are chances that they might reoccur post workout (In your recovery process). Don’t work out on the same muscle groups after DOMS. For example, if you are having severe soreness post jogging then you can workout on your upper body the next day. There is absolutely no need for – NO WORKOUT! If the symptoms are extremely unbearable and excruciating then yes, do not workout. 

How to ease DOMS?  

To reduce the symptoms, apply ice pack on the area where it is paining. Gentle massage. These are just to reduce the symptoms but the complete healing can take place only after the exact diagnosis. How to prevent DOMS? If you undergo severe DOMS on your first day of your workout you probably have might done something wrong. Check for these points before doing your next workout:- * Proper form:-You need to be extremely careful while doing exercises especially the one with weights. * Progression should be extremely personalized:- It should always be started at a slow pace and it should be light with least repetitions (2 different people cannot do the same intensity exercises- It should be personalized) * Intensity plays a very important role:- It should be started with low intensity depending upon the muscle strength and then it should be gradually increased. Once you start taking care about these points and train yourself, your body will start preparing itself for the same exercise in future. Remember the old adage that says there is NO GAIN, WITHOUT PAIN! DOMS cannot be completely avoided but, the severity can be reduced by taking care about the points mentioned above! – Light pain cannot stop you from working out. – Sometimes working out the next day makes you to recover faster! So the crux of this entire article is, please do not skip workouts because of your soreness! Go ahead and do some light exercises or target a different set of exercises!


You found this helpful