Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/11/2013 -- Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is the sensation of discomfort and pain one feels approximately 24-72 hours after engaging in physical activity. The pain usually resolves itself in 2 to 3 days, but can be bothersome and irritating during that time. Although previously thought to be caused by lactic acid, this pain is actually the result of tiny tears in the muscle fibers caused by activity and unaccustomed training levels.
DOMS is more common in those who are just starting an exercise regimen, but can appear in everyone from serious athletes to those who only engage in recreational activities. To treat and prevent the condition there are several steps one can take. One of the most important is making sure the body is warmed properly before engaging in any activity. A few jumping jacks, a gentle period of walking before a run, or a choreographed warm-up that is part of a fitness class will all help prepare the muscles for upcoming activity.
Warming is also important after a workout. While common suggestions say to ice sore muscles, and this does delay the initial inflammatory response the body experiences, one should try a warm shower or bath to increase blood flow to the achy areas. Increased blood flow aids in healing, and will help the muscles recover faster from the new activity.
Another suggestion many trainers recommend is consuming nutritional supplements before reaching for the ibuprofen. Glucosamine, bromelain, and additional protein can all aid in muscle recovery, though the effects can vary from person to person. Making sure the body is hydrated will also aid in blood flow to the affected areas, and hopefully decrease soreness sooner than later.
These steps can help in decreasing the soreness, but there is no definite cure or preventative method for DOMS. The best thing to do is stretch, realize that the body is changing and improving, and make sure to get back into the exercise shoes as soon as possible. The body will adapt, muscles will become stronger, and soon enough DOMS will be a thing of the past.
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