Are you about to head back to training after a break?
Are you ready to turbocharge your workouts or try a new exercise approach?
Do you want to diminish the “inevitable” muscle pain that accompanies increased intensity or program alterations…
Or ease the intermittent muscle soreness you feel even as a regular gym junkie?
Then we’re glad you’re here!
Delayed onset muscle soreness, nicknamed DOMS, is common. If you’ve tried a new exercise or jacked up your workout intensity, you’ll likely remember the discomfort delivered by this foe.
Experienced after engaging in exercise that, in particular, involves eccentric contraction — the lengthening contraction used to lift weights, for example — this form of muscle tenderness may interfere with training, diminish performance, and increase the risk of injury.
Plus, DOMS hurts…
But it doesn’t hurt straight away, as the delayed reference in the name indicates. There is normally a pain-free period of up to 24 hours before the pain kicks in. After one to three days, soreness peaks. Then within the week, a DOMS-free status is reattained. But a week is a long time when you’re trying to build a gorgeous physique or push your body to advanced levels.
So, what can you do?
How can you (possibly) prevent and manage this condition?
The first step is to start at the beginning; with a greater understanding. With this in mind, let’s look at its cause.
What causes delayed onset muscle soreness?
Ah, this is the question!
Yes, I hear you… The answer is obvious, right? It’s exercise! But why?
The science isn’t yet definitive. While some peeps confidently espouse their views, know that the cause of DOMS remains somewhat unclear. The answers are incomplete. Luckily, though, there are evidence-based inklings.
Theories vary from connective tissue damage to lactic acid buildup, muscle spasm or tears to inflammation, and more. The journal, Sportverletz Sportschaden (Sports Injury, Sports Damage) notes that:
The primary mechanism is currently considered to be the ultrastructural damage of muscle cells due to unfamiliar sporting activities or eccentric exercise, which leads to further protein degradation, apoptosis and local inflammatory response.
In other words, DOMS is likely due (at least in part) to engaging in a new type of activity. One that triggers muscle protein degeneration, cell death, and inflammation in the damaged area.
How can you prevent delayed onset muscle soreness?
We’ve known for decades that intense eccentric exercise creates tiny or “micro” injuries to the muscle. We’ve also known for decades that the more atypical and vigorous the training, the greater the damage and the greater the chance of experiencing DOMS.
So, a sensible approach to the prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness is to boost exercise intensity and duration incrementally. Rather than jump in the forceful deep end, build gradually. This may avoid damage and inflammation and halt or limit the experience of DOMS.
If you can’t stand the idea of gently, or if it’s simply time to push, there are ways to prevent its onset. These include…
Post-exercise foam rolling
A 2020 study investigated three groups of participants post-exercise: one group applied a smooth foam roller, another applied a grid roller, and another engaged in passive recovery.
As the authors said, both the treatment groups experienced “some substantial effects of foam rolling as an effective DOMS recovery modality”. The type of foam roller used didn’t appear to matter.
The wonders of manual therapy
If you’ve had a rub down following a workout, you might already be aware of the benefits of manual therapy in the prevention of DOMS. The research bears this out.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research also investigated three groups of participants for signs of DOMS. Before engaging in eccentric exercise, each group was assigned to one protocol.
The first group received massage; the application of 15 minutes of mechanical pressure to the muscle to be exercised. The second group received five minutes of vibration therapy; the application of 50 Hz mechanical vibration to the belly and tendons of the muscle to be exercised. The third received no treatment.
Vibration therapy and massage are both effective in the prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness.
The preventative power of herbs and spices
Herbs and spices have been used therapeutically for eons. With their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to inhibit pain, there’s little wonder researchers turned to these compounds in the search for DOMS prevention.
A review article published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine supported the benefits of saffron, black tea, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon in the prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness.
What can you do if DOMS occurs?
How can you manage delayed onset muscle soreness?
It’s easy to get caught searching for a miracle cure; a single, fast remedy that heals DOMS in a flash. But remember: delayed onset muscle soreness occurs because of muscle damage. Your body will take time to heal. That said, here are our top 3 ways to reduce pain and speed up recovery.
Enjoy a little exercise
Like the hair of the dog, exercise is considered one of the best ways to treat DOMS.
No, this doesn’t mean vigorous training. The opposite in fact. Lower the duration and intensity for one to two days after an intense session. Take a walk, enjoy a swim, or attend a Yoga class. Be gentle.
Tip: The pain relief exercise brings is temporary.
The magic of massage
Not only is massage potentially helpful in preventing DOMS, this manual therapy also offers effective relief.
As a review and meta-analysis published in the journal, Frontiers in Physiology, said, massage “seems to be the most effective method for reducing DOMS and perceived fatigue.”
Supplement with AminoLoad
Like all tissues, the muscles need nutrients to function well and heal.
AminoLoad has been formulated to power faster recovery. With all 9 essential amino acids, you’ll be able to maximize protein synthesis and drive muscle repair and growth. TRAACS® — a patented form of the mineral, magnesium — prevents muscle cramping and soreness. Astragin® reduces inflammation and enhances the ability to absorb and utilize these amino acids. That’s a potent combination.
That’s why our customers love AminoLoad!
As Nicole T. said, “My soreness is barely existent, my endurance levels are longer, and strength/power is at an all time high. I love your products and the results I’m getting.”
Grab your AminoLoad now. We guarantee you’ll love it!
The DOMS takeaway
Delayed onset muscle soreness is a common affliction that can interfere with your training, tank your performance, increase your risk of injury, and just plain hurt!
Luckily, there are evidence-based ways to prevent DOMS and find relief if and when this condition strikes.
Post-exercise foam rolling, manual therapies like massage and vibration therapy, consuming nature’s best in the form of specific herbs and spices, sensible recovery exercise, and supplementing with AminoLoad will help you avoid and tackle muscle soreness…
Allowing you to effortlessly function without the discomfort of sore, achy muscles. And yes, that might just help you achieve your goals faster and easier.