We’ve all been there—waking up with stiff and painful muscles that barely allow us to move. Whether you’ve just started working out or you upped your workout regime a notch, you are bound to feel soreness in your muscles at some point.
Usually, people don’t experience muscle soreness immediately following the workout, but rather the next day. This is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness usually occurs six to eight hours after the rigorous activity and peaks around a day or two post-training. It is more pronounced when a new training stimulus, such as increased intensity or volume, is introduced into the daily routine.
While the medical community is yet to find the exact cause behind DOMS, it is believed to be a result of micro-trauma to muscle fibres during the activity.
The muscles feel sore as the body prepares them for the next onslaught of the same activity by healing and strengthening them.
Common Myths Surrounding DOMS
Most people recognize muscle soreness as a normal part of post-workout fatigue. However, there are still a few myths surrounding the condition that prevent people from understanding it.
Let’s take a look at a few of them:
- DOMS Is an Indicator of a Good Workout Session
Many people think experiencing sore muscles and stiff joints is a sign of a good workout. As a result, they try to push through persistent pain. This can be quite dangerous, resulting in extensive wear and tear in the muscles.
Mild to moderate pain and stiffness are normal after an intense workout, but you shouldn’t continue the exercise until your body has had time to heal itself.
- DOMS Is Only Experienced By Beginners
Another common misconception is that muscle stiffness and pain are only experienced by people who have just started training.
On the contrary, experienced athletes can suffer an even worse case of DOMS under certain circumstances. It all depends on the type of activity and each individual’s pain threshold and stamina.
- DOMS Is Caused By Acid Buildup In The Body
You might have noticed a burning sensation during a rigorous workout. This is a direct result of the body metabolizing nutrients for energy. Lactic acid is produced during this process to help break up nutrients.
However, contrary to popular belief, lactic acid does not cause increased acidity in the body, resulting in DOMS. It actually mitigates the acidity of your cells and clears up within an hour of most workouts.
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