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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Ever felt that your muscle hurts after a workout? “Did I strain/pull my muscle?” some of you may think. This feeling is due to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

DOMS usually tends to kick in as soon as 6-8 hours after post-exercise and continue for up to 72 hours, peaking at around the 48th hour mark. DOMS is often confused with regular muscle soreness which results immediately after exercise and last for less than 2 days.DOMS pic 1

What causes DOMS?

            The old theory of DOMS is the build-up of lactic acid and toxic metabolic waste products in the muscle tissue. However, the latest research has disproved this hypothesis and it is now clear that whereas regular muscle soreness is predominantly due to microtrauma structural damage to muscle fibers, DOMS is caused by the bodies inflammatory response to exercise. Sports scientist concluded that DOMS is influenced by 3 factors:

1)      Inflammatory response system

2)      Structural damage to muscle tissue and tendons

3)      Athletic conditioning, age and the skeletal muscular system

Prevention & Treatment of DOMS

There is no one way to treat delayed onset muscle soreness and debate has been ongoing about both the cause and treatment of DOMS. In the past, it is thought that treating DOMS was as simple as increasing, fats, protein and carbohydrates intake. However, it is now known that controlling or reducing the inflammatory response to exercise and preventing or reducing the panful symptoms that comes with DOMS is much more complicated. It was also formerly thought that gentle stretching was one of the effective ways to reduce DOMS, but a study by researchers published in 2007 found that stretching is not applicable in avoiding muscle soreness. It is also mostly a myth that DOMS can be treated by massage.

So does anything work to reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness? Nothing has been proven to be 100 percent effective and although some people have found the following advice helpful, it’s best to try a few things to see what works for you.

1)      Ice bath

2)      Using active recovery

3)      Rest and hydration

4)      Using a foam roller

Medical science can barely even describe DOMS, let alone treat it — it seems to be nature’s little tax on exercise, which everyone must pay. There are no shortcuts through it. DOMS is indomitable

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