Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Archive for May 27th, 2010

DOMS

Posted by terrepruitt on May 27, 2010

You have probably felt it but didn’t realize what it was called.  DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is the feeling we have after we have exercised, if we have worked the muscle hard or it is not used to moving.  It is usually experienced 24 to 72 hours after the workout.  It can be severe discomfort on the verge of pain or just slight discomfort.  Everyone has different pain tolerances.  It is important to identify it as just DOMS and not something more serious.  DOMS will disappear whereas if there is an injury it might have to be treated.

DOMS is no longer associated with build up of lactic acid in the muscles.  It is now known to be the result of intense eccentric contraction.  Often people associate muscle soreness with body building or lifting weights.  This association is correct because in order to make a muscle bigger it must be stressed to the point of rebuilding, and most workouts that stress the muscles include eccentric exercise.  But also muscles that are not used can get sore when they are used. 

As we move through our lives we form movement patterns.  Our muscles become used to these patterns.  If we were to add weight to our movement patterns it is likely that our muscles could become sore and experience DOMS because we are stressing the tissue.  But without the added resistance there is almost no chance of soreness.  Think of the last time you helped someone relocate (as in move from one home to another).  We ALWAYS you hear people complain how sore they are.  The movements they did are normally the same; walking, lifting, bending, etc.  But usually when you are helping someone move you are helping them move heavy furniture so there is resistance to the walking, lifting, bending.  Even if you aren’t helping with the really heavy items it could be your chore to move the boxes . . . . a lot of boxes so the repetitiveness of that has the potential to cause soreness.

If you move in a way that your body is not accustomed to and/or you use muscles that are not used to be moved, sometimes there is no need to add resistance and there can be soreness.  So it is possible for a muscle that is used to experience DOMS if used in a different way or to get sore using muscles we never use.

I have shared with you in the beginning of my blog what I use for muscle soreness.  Unless it is seriously painful for me to move, I like to actually work and move through my soreness.  I feel that my body adapts quicker if I keep moving.  But I am also not an intense body builder and I also move often.  When I say keep moving I don’t mean to keep doing the exercise that caused me to be sore, but I do mean to move, and stretch and work it out.  Working through it works for ME, for MY body.  You have to decide and learn what works for you.  Also, each time might be different.  If you do a really intense workout and you end up sore you might want to rest a bit whereas if you do a less intense workout you might be able to recognize that moving through it would be best.  It is helpful for you to know how best to handle your DOMS by listening to your own body and learning what it needs.

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