What to do for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?
Are you new to exercise? Or maybe you’ve been ramping up your workouts? Perhaps you had a major competition recently? Or you worked extra hard in the yard this weekend?
Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is the name given to the soreness you experience a day or two after really vigorous activity. It can last anywhere from 2-14 days.
Sometimes it’s so bad that it prevents you from doing what you want to do in the days following the activity. This is when you should come to get a massage.
One study reports a 30% decrease in DOMS in those who received a massage anywhere from 30 minutes to 14 days post exercise.
Some other tricks to reducing DOMS are:
- Do some Warm-up and Cool down stretches.
- Do a little cardio before hitting the weights.
- Gradually build up in intensity.
- Take an NSAID a couple of hours before the activity. (talk to your dr. first!)
- After the DOMS has already set in, alternate ice/heat 5 min each for 30 min.
If the pain persists for 7 days without decreasing at all, it would be good to make an appointment with your doctor.
Ideally, you will want to schedule your massage appointment the day of or day after the exercise. Twice in the week following the activity is the most effective. The goals of the massage are to increase blood circulation to remove waste products from the affected muscle, increase the range of motion, and break down any adhesions that may have occurred. The secondary goal is to get you back to working out as quickly as possible.