We all know the role that exercise plays in helping us live a fit and healthy life. Of course, most of us do not look forward to sweating it out in the gym every morning; however, looking good always tops our priority list.
But, as they say, “everything comes with a price”. Similarly, a workout comes with a price too and that is in the form of muscle soreness, stiffness, mild body ache, etc.
Thus, enters the concept of DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Now, what exactly is this DOMS and why and how is it causing pain to us, like literally?
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DOMS, also called muscle fever, is the stiffness and pain felt in the muscles, 1-2 days after a new/strenuous exercise regimen.
The most common cause is lengthening exercise, which causes microtearing of muscle fibres and it is after such an exercise that you experience muscle soreness, as your muscle adapts to prevent muscle damage.
The funny thing is DOMS is not such a bad thing, as it shows that your body is responding to exercise/workout, though it should not be neglected.
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The important question here is, “How to manage muscle pain after workout?” Well, there is no full-proof treatment procedure to prevent or manage muscle pain. However, a few simple steps can help you manage DOMS.
Let us look at a few simple steps to combat body numbing workout-induced muscle pain. But, unfortunately, getting rid of exercises/workout completely does not feature in the list.
Oh! How we wish it was in the list. Right? Well, here are the steps, have a look:
1) Stretch Gently And Push Away The Pain:
Slow, gentle stretching of the stiffened/sore muscle area will loosen the muscles and relieve you of the pain. One thing to keep in mind is, do not over-stress your body. Stop immediately, if the pain increases and becomes excruciating.
2) Mild Massage:
Massage the sore muscles mildly because it will help promote blood flow. This shortens the duration of DOMS and helps you recover fast.
3) Treat Yourself To A Warm Bath:
A warm bath will not only make you feel relaxed, but also help loosen the tight muscles and improves circulation of blood in your body, thus, reducing the pain caused by DOMS.
4) The Cooling Effect:
Apply ice/cold water to your sore muscles, as it helps with the swelling. Also, studies say that applying a cold pack after a heat pack and repeating this a few times on the sore/stiffened muscle area has the highest effect on improving blood circulation on the pain-affected area.
5) Drink Water And Drink Lots Of It:
Drinking water flushes out the extra toxins from your body and, thus, there is less unnecessary immune response from the body.
6) Taking Rest Can Never Harm And Can Never Be Disliked:
A study shows that for optimal strength development to manage muscle pain, one to two rest days between exercise sessions is ideal for beginners training three days per week and experienced exercisers training two days per week. But, do not stop exercising. Mild exercises like swimming, light jogging, yoga, etc, are ideal during the recovery phase.
7) Eat Right:
Green vegetables, fruits like blue berries, dry fruits like almonds and eggs are certain types of food that contain essential nutrients, which enrich your body and should be taken after a workout-induced muscle pull to help your body regain strength.
8) Consult A Doctor If The Pain Persists:
Non-steroidal, low-dose painkillers can help reduce your pain. But, if the pain persists for more than a week, consult a physiotherapist immediately.