No Pain No Gain? Demystifying DOMS

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is described by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) as the experiencing of temporary muscle soreness after a new or especially intense use of the muscles. While those who work out regularly are often familiar with DOMS, even the average individual can experience the condition from a seemingly innocuous everyday task. Like a sunburn on an overcast day, DOMS can sneak up on you! Consider times when you engage in physical activity that is not part of your typical day or routine.

Soon, the home of Gladiator Therapeutics in eastern Pennsylvania will be blanketed in the hues of autumn as the temperatures start to drop and subsequently, the trees begin to change color. Nature will put on one of its finest shows for us, but all good shows come to an end. Along with the mercury of the thermometer falling will be the dropping of the leaves. Everywhere.

We all know what comes next…the raking, the piling, the bending, the scooping, the carrying, the discarding of all of the now-brown-and-crispy leaf lawn litter. And then, that feeling of satisfaction and relief when it is all tidy and tucked away. Oh, the thrill of victory! The smell in the air is divine. Fantasy football and Friday night lights are in full swing. The anticipation of apple cider and pumpkin pie is imminent. Life is good.

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And then BAM! The pain! All of that time spent cleaning up the countenance of your castle is now punishing you with every breath you take, every move you make, every step you take. You are a reasonably healthy person, so why does it feel as if you decided to do a stint as an NFL wide receiver on a whim? Four letters: D-O-M-S.

With DOMS, you won’t necessarily feel the pain and strain while you are involved in physical activity. Rather, the onset of pain and discomfort…okay, let’s face it…the sheer AGONY of the feat, comes in a day or so. Sometimes referred to as muscle fever, “The nastiness starts after a bit of a delay, often after sleeping, and then continues for 24 to 72 hours. Some people don’t even notice it until the second day.”

But it isn’t just you. Even the most elite athletes experience DOMS  WebMD quotes David O. Draper of Brigham Young University, “Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to…delayed onset muscle soreness occurs when the muscle is performing an eccentric or a lengthening contraction.” explains, “Strength exercises have two phases: the concentric (the lifting part) and the eccentric (the lowering part). The eccentric phase is where you’re actually creating tears in the muscle fibers, and it’s also where your muscles are working at their strongest.”

Cross-training exists to help work different muscle groups, but when the workout changes, DOMS will revisit, as the body adjusts to the changes of activity. And, concentric and eccentric movements happen not only in voluntary exercise but also during routine activities such as those seasonal chores around the homestead, so that is why the condition does not discriminate based upon athletic prowess or lack thereof. That’s not to say that if an average person and an athlete do the same physical task, they will both experience DOMS and in the same ways; however, the root cause of DOMS boils down to that same concept of the body experiencing discomfort as the result of a type of activity to which it is not accustomed at that point in time.

So what’s a person to do? Unfortunately, there is no cure for DOMS The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) provides a fantastic overview of DOMS as well as tips and advice for prevention and treatment. Perhaps the most important takeaway of our post, though, is to know the difference between normal DOMS and an actual injury. breaks it down simply and succinctly:

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If you are experiencing muscle pain, tenderness, or inflammation, the Gladiator Therapeutics Far Infrared Device may be able to help.

NOTE: Content included here is not medical advice, and only is intended as information for adults. Always consult with your health care professional before making changes to diet, exercise, medication, or before use of any product or device.