Going to answer what the leading hypothesis for delayed onset muscle soreness are in this post and how to get rid of or help relieve muscle soreness.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Ever hit a new cardio class or start on a new exercise program only to wake up feeling like you’ve been beaten all over with a rubber hose?
Its a bummer I know and I feel it too…guess when? When I do something I have not done before or when I change weight, intensity or volume or emphasize the negative portion of a movement OR go into ranges of motion that I am not used to.
First… DOMS stands for delayed onset muscle soreness when you see it below.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) starts to be thing of the past when you have done just about everything the exercise world can throw at you because nothing can surprise your body anymore. Until you one day add in one of the factors I mentioned above.
I’ll give you some tidbits I found in researching about DOMS but the basics are that nothing totally helps except not pushing too hard while working out so that you avoid the extreme stress on the muscles in the first place.
I originally had to look more seriously into DOMS because of my class Commando Cardio (which strangely enough seems to fit all the examples of how to get DOMS.) Commando’s, try to ignore me when I tell you to pick a heavier weight or beat yourself into the ground! I get pumped up in there and I only dish out that kind of intensity to my personal training clients after I have worked with them for a while and know what they can handle.
Here is the 411 on DOMS:
DOMS – Causes
Delayed onset muscle soreness is thought to be a result of microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers. The amount of tearing (and soreness) depends on how hard and how long you exercise and what type of exercise you do. Any movement that you do not regularly do to can lead to DOMS, but eccentric muscle contractions (lowering a weight under tension) seem to cause the most soreness. Examples of eccentric muscle contractions include going down stairs, running downhill, lowering weights and the downward motion of squats and push-ups (HUH, imagine that…).
More specifically stated through the ISSA textbook…
The leading hypothesis for delayed onset muscle soreness are the:
- connective tissue damage hypothesis
- the skeletal muscle damage hypothesis
- the spasm hypothesis
See more here about the three hypothesis on muscle soreness.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Relief (nothing too helpful here sorry)
There is no one simple way to treat delayed onset muscle soreness. The arguments swing back and forth from year to year. In the past, gentle stretching was the way to go the experts said, but a 2007 study by Australian researchers found that stretching is not effective in avoiding muscle soreness.
So is anything going to help? Nothing has been shown to be 100% proven effective. However here are some things that people say help. I personally feel that getting the body warm through low intensity cardio and then doing some yoga to be the best bet for my clients and I.
What You Can Try If You Are Already Sore:
The Ostrich Approach – Stick Your Head In The Sand And Do Nothing.
Soreness will go away in 3 to 7 days on its own. Not a great option for the very active.
Use active recovery techniques. Perform some easy low-impact aerobic exercise to increase blood flow.
Although research doesn’t find gentle stretching reduces soreness, some people find it simply feels good.
Get a message or do it yourself. Some research has found that massage was effective in alleviating DOMS by approximately 30% and reducing swelling, but it had no effects on muscle function.
You can try an aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the soreness temporarily, but they won’t actually speed healing or make it go away any faster.
There is some evidence that performing Yoga may reduce DOMS. I agree with this because the larger your comfortable range of motion, the less intense full ranges of motion with weights will be on your body.
Don’t forget to warm up completely before your next exercise session. There is some research that supports that a warm-up performed immediately prior to unaccustomed eccentric exercise produces small reductions in delayed-onset muscle soreness.
Preventing The DOMS (Sound like a disease, well it is dis-ease!)
GO A LITTLE LESS HARD NEXT TIME BUT DO THE SAME EXERCISE AGAIN WHEN THE SORENESS SUBSIDES SO YOUR BODY GETS USED TO IT.
- Warm up thoroughly before activity and cool down completely afterward.
- Cool Down with gentle stretching after exercise.
- Slowly increase the intensity of your workouts.
- Start a new weight lifting routine with light weights and high reps (10-12) and gradually increase the amount you lift over several weeks.
- Avoid making sudden major changes in the type of exercise you do.
- Avoid making sudden major changes in the amount of time that you exercise.
How To Work Around DOMS From Your Full Body Bodyweight Workout Routine… Or Whatever Else You Run Into
I deal with this weekly because of the Commando Boot Camp class I teach and all I do is when I wake up the next day I do a body check. What IS NOT SORE? Back and Bi’s? Great, that will be today’s workout. If legs are sore and today is supposed to be leg day…so what? They have been already worked for the week and that is all that matters. Being flexible with your routine makes life real easy. If it’s sore it doesn’t need to be trained until it is not sore and if it is not sore and you want to train it, go ahead.
Not exactly quick fix help here but the take home point is that if you are left immobile from exercise…you need to cut back on the intensity during your next session. (I can’t believe I actually wrote that!). Push your limits but make sure you can still walk. There that’s more like it!