Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network Staff Report
Shall we talk about a shared experience? Let’s start with soreness, a universal complaint by anyone runs seriously enough to train for the Hartford Marathon or the more casual runner working up to his or her first Manchester Road Race.
When you’re so sore after a workout that you can barely move, what is actually happening to your body?
It’s a phenomenon known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. DOMS, for many years, has been attributed to the buildup of lactic acid after an intense workout or exercise. But this is not the case. Lactic acid within the body does, in fact, increase with exercise but will return to normal anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour after the workout. DOMS is part of the body’s adaptation to unaccustomed exercises, a way to help increase stamina and strength.
DOMS is caused by microscopic tearing of muscle fibers as they are being worked. The severity of DOMS depends on the length and type of activity. But it will be more severe with eccentric exercises such as running downhill, plyometrics or resistance training.
The symptoms of DOMS generally include pain, swelling, decreased range of motion and decreased strength. Even with a lot of research present there hasn’t been a specific answer to how this can be prevented since many believe you need the adaptation to gain more of the strength and stamina. However, there are some ways to help decrease the soreness. Light stretching, foam rolling and ice seem to decrease the main in most cases.
When you are suffering from DOMS just know it is normal and there is no direct cure, but you can definitely try to decrease the symptoms with those few simple tasks.
For more information, visit Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network.