What is DOMS, and how do we deal with it?

All these New Year’s exercises could be a literal ache within the muscle tissues. It might be DOMS.

Last yr’s lockdowns noticed gyms shut and us in our houses, couch- or desk-bound. Most of us who haven’t touched a dumb-bell or run just a few kilometres for months are getting again into the swing of issues solely now. But when the physique is unaccustomed to figuring out, this may trigger a ‘delayed onset of muscle soreness’ higher generally known as DOMS, additionally dubbed ‘muscle fever.’

DOMS leaves muscle tissues feeling tender to the contact, the particular person affected having a decreased vary of movement attributable to ache and stiffness when shifting, and even short-term lack of muscle power. Just consider that scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary the place she falls off the elliptical.

Dr (Maj) S Bakhtiar Choudhary, advisor in sports activities medication and occupational well being, explains DOMS happens in those that haven’t exercised in a very long time as neuromuscular coordination will get very used to inaction. So while you do work out, he says, “DOMS may happen, and it can be very painful, creating micro-tears in the muscles which can bleed.”

How to deal with it

But what you probably have DOMS already? “There’s no medication for DOMS, so do avoid paracetamol and such. Take it easy for the next four to five days; do not encourage further tears, but do some selectively gentle stretches,” he advises. He additionally suggests holding a chilly pack of 0 to 10 levels Centigrade helpful, elaborating, “This form of cryotherapy reduces swelling, the bleeding in the micro-tears and the inflammation, and also acts as a local anaesthetic and numbs the area.”

In some circumstances, DOMS could be a concern. Dr Choudhary says, “If one does not recover within seven to 10 days, seek medical help from a sports medicine doctor or a highly-qualified physiotherapist.” The physio can provide therapeutic massage to the strained muscle.

Dr Choudhary states that preventative measures in opposition to DOMS are potential. “Nutritionally, one must focus on carbohydrates, not proteins. Complex carbohydrates refill glycogen stores, helping replenish the muscle.” Stay hydrated, neither under-hydrating or over-hydrating. Both might additional throw the physique off the hydration degree to which it is accustomed. Athletes additionally suggest oily fish, nuts and even tart cherry juice to scale back the probabilities of DOMS.

A very good routine

The train programme from begin to end issues, too, he factors out. Flexibility and mobility coaching (workouts to extend vary of movement) supplies a decreased danger of damage, enhanced athletic efficiency, and in some circumstances, transient reduction. “A warm-up followed by a well-paced exercise (nothing that makes you strain over 50%), followed by a cool-down reduces lactic acid buildup and lowers your chance of muscle cramps and stiffness,” he says. “The body is like a machine; it cannot function starting in just fourth or fifth gear, you have to follow the proper routine.”

While the muscle takes just a few days to restore itself, the important thing, he concludes, is to tempo your self from the beginning. “Do not dive right into an intense endurance training, but rather let your body’s muscles build up the tolerance to the new activity levels.”

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