Is it Just Muscle Soreness?

Is it Just Muscle Soreness?

A valued client of Your Health Domain recently started a weight training program and asked one of our Massage Therapists about the intense soreness in his legs following a squat and lunge session – he was unsure if this response was normal or if there was an injury involved. It is extremely common to experience periods of soreness following the performance of unaccustomed exercise, and being new to the gym it is highly likely that some of the movements our patient had been doing in his training are new or done with greater loads than may have used before. 

The actual medical term for the pain we are speaking about is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – usually referred to as DOMS. The classic DOMS sufferer describes a dull ache that develops 24-48 hours after the performance of new or strenuous exercise. DOMS can also result in a short term loss of muscle strength, reduced joint range of motion and possibly swelling of the effected muscle groups. The development of DOMS is increased if your activity involves a large amount of eccentric exercise (exercise where the muscles are contracting whilst lengthening) – examples being downhill running and slow lowering of the weight to the chest during Bench Press. 

The exact cause of DOMS is a little unclear – however some possible explanations put forward by medical experts include the build-up of lactic acid, muscle spasm, torn connective tissue and damaged muscle fibres

To minimise development of DOMS the Physiotherapists at Your Health Domain recommend:

  • take it slow and gradually build up the amount of exercise you do in your program – remember ”Rome was not built in a day”
  • do not increase your sets, reps and weights by more than 10% per week
  • be aware of the amount of eccentric exercise you are including in your workouts
  • ensure you do a thorough cool down following your workout – many of us would have seen footballers doing gentle running and cool down drills after their games – this is one of the reasons why.

The good news is that most cases of DOMS gradually subside and have no lasting effects – however if the following applies to you then it is best to seek the advice from your Physiotherapist or Massage Therapist at Your Health Domain if: 

  • Pain is still present and not resolving more than 48-72 hours post exercise.
  • Pain came on during the exercise (not the day after) and was more sudden in onset.
  • Pain is located in and around the joints and not just limited to muscles.
  • There is swelling and discomfort in and around the joints.

Massage Therapy may help you recover more quickly from DOMS easing pain, improving circulation, reducing joint stiffness and increasing muscle length. Your Massage Therapist at Your Health Domain will also give you advice on what stretches are best for you pre and post work out, as well as refer you onto one of our experienced Physiotherapists if needed.

 

To make an appointment to see a Massage Therapist at Your Health Domain at our Pitt Street or King Street clinics, call 9251 5111, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.yourhealthdomain.com.au

 

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Pitt St. City Practice

Address:
Level 7 60 Pitt Street Sydney 2000
Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri 7:30am - 6:00pm
Telephone:
(02) 9251-5111

King Street Practice

Address:
Fitness First - The Zone / 94 King Street Sydney 2000
Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri 7:30am - 6:00pm
Telephone:
(02) 9251-5111