What is DOMS and how to manage it?

06 October 2020 Training

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Have you ever felt that soreness after a workout which makes you not want to move a muscle the next day? Well, this is what is referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle caused by muscle strain.

When a previously inactive person starts a new activity or a person who has been working out regularly changes the muscle groups they are working out, or when someone increases the intensity of their workout they can end up with DOMS. It can occur anytime between 24-48 hours post workout and can last upto 72 hours. This is quite normal even for elite athletes. However it can be very difficult for someone starting out to push though the soreness and continue working out the next day.

How do we manage DOMS? And this is just what we do that helps us:
1. We continue working out but at a lower intensity.
2. Proper stretching and warm up before and after workout and foam rolling gives some relief.
3. If the soreness is so bad that it interferes with day to day activities we take a day off to recover.
4. Although there is not much scientific evidence we prefer to get a massage once in a while which makes us feel better.

Other modalities that could provide relief but the community is divided on it and scientific evidence is not sufficient are:
1. Cold treatments
2. Heat treatments
3. Epsom salts
4. Vitamin D supplementation (Do not take even vitamin supplements without the guidance of a health care professional, especially vitamin A and D)
5. Turmeric is bing studied extensively with some good evidence in studies. However not conclusive.

What do you do that helps with DOMS?