What is DOMS? One cause of sore muscles is strenuous out-of-your-routine physical activity. This type of muscle soreness is called delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS. It was once believed that lactic acid caused muscle soreness, but science has shown that isn’t the case. (1)
DOMS may occur 1 -2 days after the activity that caused it and typically doesn’t last for more than a few days. Bicep curls, running downhill, and other eccentric contractions can cause DOMS. As you do this type of physical activity, you are causing microscopic tears in the muscle. With DOMS, swelling often accompanies sore muscles.
Regular Weight Training and Athletic Training with DOMS
If your delayed-onset muscle soreness is caused by your weight training or other exercise routine, try taking more time to ease into your workout. Reduce the amount of time and the intensity of your workout while your body recovers. Also, targeting “less affected body parts should be encouraged in order to allow the most affected muscle groups to recover.” (2)
“If you are engaging in weight training, avoid working on eccentric exercises/contractions. Eccentric exercises or contractions are those that provide resistance against the relaxation of the muscle. Eccentric contractions cause more soreness and are not superior to the regular contractions.” (3)
If soreness due to a workout lasts longer than a few days, tests are available to determine muscle damage. CPK, also known as Creatine phosphokinase, is “an enzyme found mainly in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle.” (2) To determine how damaged a muscle is, a CPK test can be performed. “When a muscle is damaged, CPK leaks into the bloodstream. Determining which specific form of CPK is high helps doctors determine which tissue has been damaged.” (4)
If you are experiencing muscle soreness because of physical activity, do something that will increase blood flow to your aching muscles, like a hot bath or shower or a massage.
3: Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention By Peter Kokkinos