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DOMS – What is it, what causes it & how to treat it.

DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is muscle pain resulting from micro-trauma to muscles caused by unfamiliar or excessive exercise. Microtrauma (myofribril tears) resulting from exercise cause an inflammatory response, resulting in changes in the intramuscular fluid.

DOMS generally occurs with an increase in eccentric exercise such as running longer distances, downhill & plyometric exercises. It is commonly described as a dull ache in the muscles, sometimes occurring with stiffness & tenderness, which appears 24-48 hours post new or excessive exercise.

Upper and Lower Limb Osteo Treatment in Melbourne

DOMS should be treated with active rest and anti-inflammatory measures such as ice. Commonly with DOMs the more you move the affected muscle group, the less sore you will become. Deep tissue massage should be avoided for the first 24 hours, as well as excessive stretching and aggressive exercise. Compression garments and gentle massage have been shown to provide a reduction in severity and duration.

Symptoms of DOMS should reduce within 24-72 hours. If symptoms do persist more than 48-72 hours, the pain is affecting the joints and not just the muscles or the pain came on during exercise, see you osteopath for further advice and treatment.


Monica Round

This post was written by Dr Monica Bassier.

You can find out more about Monica here or book an appointment with her here.

Alternatively, you can call us at the clinic on 03 9908 2844.

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