Muscle soreness after exercising ? So you’ve had a break from exercising, or maybe you’re a newcomer. Or perhaps your training load has increased significantly? Chances are, you’ll experience some muscle soreness or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in the next few days. However if you’re really unlucky and have injured your muscles in the process, it may last for 7-10 days post training. But in most cases it will resolve a lot quicker.

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Typical symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness:

The most common symptom is dull ache in the exercised muscle. In addition to this,  there is tenderness to touch. Furthermore, pain is felt on using that muscle group.  The maximum soreness is usually felt 24-72 hours after exercise.

For something so common, we still don’t know a lot about its exact mechanisms. It can be due to the loading and lengthening of the muscle. Furthermore, a combination of things are responsible for  contributing to the muscle soreness. It is due to the actual changes in the chemicals around the muscles or damage to small fibres of the muscle. In the past lactic acid was thought to contribute to it. However this theory has now been ruled out.

Previous theories regarded delayed onset muscle soreness as a warning sign to prevent further muscle damage. However, recent studies have shown that this is not the case. In most cases the continued use of the affected muscle does not affect recovery. This means you can keep doing light exercises while you are recovering. Even more, there is some evidence to suggest that endurance exercises, such as running, swimming or cycling can actually reduce soreness!

Happy exercising!