Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – The Causes and Treatment

November 12, 2012

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness - The Causes and Treatment

Delayed onset muscle soreness refers to a kind of muscle soreness that sets in a few hours after intense exercising that the athlete might not be used to yet. Some of the most common causes of delayed onset muscle soreness would be in the form of eccentric muscular contractions.

This basically means that the muscle lengthens and contracts at the same time. Some activities that could cause this include hopping, running downhill, bounding, squatting, lowering during weight-lifting and various other plyometric exercises. A lot of the time, delayed onset muscle soreness will occur a day or two after exercising. Some common symptoms of it would include muscle tightness and muscle pain, which will usually result in decreased motion ranges. Fortunately, the discomfort will begin to ease a few days after the exercise and should go back to normal in a week. However, if symptoms persist, it would be highly advisable to visit a doctor or have a sports injury specialist check it out.

The Causes

In general, it is believed that delayed onset muscle soreness is caused by tiny muscle tears that happen when people exercise too hard. Although this process is needed for muscles to grow in strength and size, training that moves ahead too fast could result in excessive tearing and soreness. Additionally, if you just started a new exercise or sport that your body isn’t used to yet, this soreness might occur repeatedly after the first couple of sessions. Because of this, it would be highly advisable to start training very lightly and to move ahead slowly.

The Treatment

Overall, treating this type of soreness will simply require some time. So, let your muscle heal with time without stressing them out for a while. In other words, wait for around a week for the symptoms to clear before exercising the same way again. If you massage the affected area, though, you might be able to help it recover faster. If you really must exercise, though, then focus on doing stretches and aerobic exercises for now. In fact, this would be ideal since your blood flow will improve, your muscles will warm and your motion range will get better, too. To help reduce the overall effects of delayed onset muscle soreness you can also try spa baths and hydrotherapy if you wish. Alternating between hot baths and cold baths has also been proven to be beneficial to professional athletes that have tried them, although no scientific evidence has yet shown up regarding their effectiveness.

Category: Articles