Post exercise stiffness and soreness

So you have exercised and now you feel stiff and your muscles might feel sore as well. We have all felt this way, and just put it down to exertion. Well, hard as it is to imagine it actually has a name and is a defined condition.

Sore muscles after exercising is called “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness” (DOMS). 

DOMS seems to occur when undertaking a new exercise programme, changing an exercise routine, or increasing the duration or intensity of a regular workout. When muscles are required to work harder than they’re used to due to a new or increased exercise or in a different way, it’s believed to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness. This is contrary to a widely held belief that DOMS is caused by  a build up of lactic acid, but there is no evidence to suggest lactic acid is involved in this process.

DOMS normally presents 24 to 48 hours after the new or increased activity, and there is no easy way to treat the symptoms. The most effective advice is to operate on the RICE principles (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) where possible. It is important to remain fully hydrated.