We all know about the great benefits of exercise. We want the weight management, developed discipline, improved health, and enhanced brain function, but what we do not want is the pain! Why does getting into great shape have to hurt so much? Here, we’ll discuss the nature of the pain associated with working out and what we can do about it.
What is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)?
That pain you feel in your body after a workout is called Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS for short. This pain is as described; it’s the muscle soreness that comes on after you’re finished with your workout. We call it ‘delayed’ because it can take a day or two before it hits you. Any muscle pain you feel during or right after your workout isn’t DOMS – it’s acute muscle soreness.
You can feel acute muscle soreness, like a burning sensation in your muscles. It’s the quick build-up of metabolites when your exercise is intense. But it stops not long after you stop.
But DOMS is a little more than that. There are several theories of what DOMS actually is, including lactic acid build-up, connective tissue damage, inflammation, muscle damage, muscle spasms, and enzyme activity. All of these could be true, but the most popular belief is that when you strain your muscles in a good workout session, you cause microscopic damage to the muscle fiber. This makes you feel stiff, achy, and sore about 24 to 72 hours after the workout. DOMS will last for an additional 24 to 48 hours.
DOMS is worst when you have just embarked on a new workout program or have upped the weight you’re lifting. DOMS is temporary. As your muscles adjust to the new level of weight or workout intensity, the damage lessens, and thus so does the stiffness.
Symptoms of DOMS
How can you know that your pain is due to DOMS and not something more serious? Here are the symptoms of DOMS:
- Muscles are tender to touch
- Stiffness restricts your movement
- Muscle fatigue
- Muscle swelling
- Temporary loss of strength
Seek medical attention if:
- Your urine becomes very dark in color
- Your DOMS lasts more than seven days
- Your muscle swelling (arms and legs) is severe
- Your pain is sharp, or you have muscle spasms
- You have numbness and tingling
Are you suffering from muscle soreness? We can help. Our Herbal Muscle Rub contains effective all-natural ingredients that will get you feeling like yourself in no time! Check out Herbal Ice today.
Is DOMS Inevitable?
Many people use the presence of DOMS to determine how good their workout was. If they don’t feel stiff and achy in the days after their workout, they think they may not have made any progress. This isn’t necessarily true. But following are a few things you can do to prevent DOMS or to make it less severe:
- Stretch before and after you exercise to warm up your muscles
- Wear compression garments for working out
- Know your limits
- Stay active even on your rest days
Should You Still Work Out with DOMS?
You’ll probably still feel DOMS from the last time when you’re next scheduled to work out. So what do you do? Is it safe to work out despite the pain? As long as you’re sure that it is just DOMS and nothing more serious, it is safe to work out again.
To prevent injuries, ensure you warm up your muscles before you begin. Also, you can work different muscle groups than you did the last time. This will give those muscles a chance to rest and recover without you missing a workout.
Finally, pay attention to your pain levels while you’re working out. The adage, ‘no pain – no gain,’ is false. Pain can mean injury, which can prevent you from achieving your fitness goals. And you can get gains without severe pain!
Ways to Help DOMS
If you work out hard, DOMS may be a necessary evil. So, what do you do with a body that hurts to move? Here are ways to help DOMS:
Herbal Muscle Rub
When we have muscle pain, the first thing we often think of is a good muscle rub. There’s a reason for that. Applying the right ingredients that get absorbed into the skin can immediately reduce your muscle pain.
Our Herbal Muscle Rub has active ingredients menthol, turmeric, and magnesium. These, along with a proprietary blend of anti-inflammatory all-natural ingredients, make this a safe and effective product for your muscles. This is a doctor-formulated, lab-tested, U.S.-made product that can bring instant relief.
The convenient roll-on application makes it perfect for all kinds of muscle pain, not just from working out. Arthritis pain, backache, inflammation, and cramps can also be alleviated.
A massage can be relaxing and enjoyable whether or not you’re in pain. One study in 2005 showed that a 10-minute massage just hours after exercise could reduce DOMS by about 30%, as well as decrease inflammation. The effect continued to reduce symptoms for up to 4 days after the workout. Unfortunately, the study showed that massage didn’t help with muscle recovery or regaining range of motion.
If you can’t get a massage, you can get the same effect with a foam roller. You can lay the tender area on top of the roller and, using your own body weight, roll yourself on it. People in fitness widely use these. You could also try a sports massage chair or other devices to simulate a massage.
Epsom Salt Bath
Your grandmother swore by Epsom Salts, and now you know why. It works well to relieve your body’s stiff, sore muscles and stress. The hot water in the bath doesn’t hurt, either. Epsom Salt has been around for hundreds of years to relieve muscle aches and pains. Once you dissolve it in water, the magnesium is released and absorbed through your skin. This is what helps with muscle recovery and reduces inflammation. It also flushes out the lactic acid build-up and supports muscle regeneration.
Don’t soak for more than 15 minutes, or you will reabsorb the toxins that the magnesium has caused you to expel.
There Are Great Ways to Help DOMS
In addition to the ways shown above, you might also try an ice bath. And remember to incorporate the basics of wellness – eat well, get good rest, and stay hydrated.
Is muscle soreness taking the fun out of workouts for you? It doesn’t have to. Check out our CBD, Hemp, and Herbal Rubs to bring immediate relief to your aching muscles. Visit Herbal Ice today!