Muscle Soreness after workout: Is it good or bad sign?

Muscle Soreness

Some of you might have experienced muscle soreness after your heavy resistance training, and the soreness might last 3-4 days sometimes even more. 

The medical term for muscle soreness after workout is known as DOMS(Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). 

The pain usually appears several hours after your workout and you may not feel DOMS during your workout session. 

Causes of muscle soreness after workout /DOMS

The main cause of DOMS is strenuous exercise or high intensity workout and if you are a beginner you would probably experience DOMS.

This exercise can cause micro trauma to the muscle fibres, which is typically cause the DOMS.

Symptoms of DOMS

American college of sports medicine has stated that the symptoms of DOMS can be found at least 12 to 24 hours after the workout session and the soreness will get stronger and feel more stiffness.

The major symptoms are

  • Tender muscles that are hard to touch 
  • Feel stiffness and soreness while you move around 
  • Inflammation in the affected area 
  • Muscle fatigue 
  • Temporary loss of muscle strength 

Is DOMS good or bad sign of exercise?

Most of us think that unless you experience extreme muscle soreness after each workout, you’re not making any fitness progress, but do you think is it true? 

Honesty, it isn’t true. The soreness can happen due to many reasons and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re making fitness gain. 

When you start a new workout routine or if you try to push yourself harder than you used to do at the gym/home you are more likely to experience muscle soreness

and as you continue to do the exercise you would probably feel less and less soreness after each workout and your body will adapt your new workout changes.

Should you workout while you are experiencing DOMS

Yes, you can, however your muscles require time to heal and if you feel uncomfortable to workout you can rest until the muscle soreness disappear.

Always try to listen to your body, if your body needs rest, you should probably get rest and recover. 

If you feed good to hit the gym go on, but avoid training the affected area and focus on other parts of your body, that way you will not injure your muscle fibres again.

Avoid lifting heavy and high intensity workout during DOMS, you should probably take slow during muscle soreness.

How can you ease DOMS/muscle soreness ?

Give yourself TIME. The best option is to give time for your muscles to heal themselves. However there are other ways to ease the muscle soreness

  • Massage your body with oil (focus on the affected area)
  • Take cold or hot shower 
  • Use pain relief balm or cream 
  • Take a Epsom salt bath
  • Warm up and cool down

Foods to eat during DOMS

Nutrients diets can ease the muscle soreness. According to the research taking caffeine, omega-3 fatty acids can ease the muscle soreness/DOMS. There are some foods that might ease muscle soreness.

  • Berries 
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Protein shake
  • Probiotics 
  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Leafy greens

How can you prevent muscle soreness/DOMS

It might be impossible to avoid DOMS all together, however you can try to prevent it by incorporating few steps into your workout.

  • Warm up, spend at least 5 to 10 minutes on warm up exercise 
  • Cool down, you can try low intensity workout for cool down session and incorporate stretching exercises at the end
  • Do not push yourself too hard, take baby steps and don’t try to overdo yourself, taking it slowly can build strength and endurance and you reduce the risk of DOMS.

If you ever experience DOMS, try not to worry about it. Give yourself time and listen to your body always. If your have bruised or swollen muscles please consult with your doctor.