Commonly here at Airport Physiotherapy we have clients who begin weight/exercise training program and ask our Physiotherapists about the intense soreness in their leg/arm muscles following these sessions – they are unsure if this response was normal or if there was an injury involved.
It is extremely common to experience periods of
soreness following the performance of unaccustomed exercise, and being new to
the gym it is highly likely that some of the movements our patient had been
doing in his training are new or done with greater loads than may have used before.
The actual medical term for the pain we are speaking about is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – usually referred to as DOMS. The classic DOMS sufferer describes a dull ache that develops 24-48 hours after the performance of new or strenuous exercise. DOMS can also result in a short term loss of muscle strength, reduced joint range of motion and possibly swelling of the effected muscle groups. The development of DOMS is increased if
your activity involves a large amount of eccentric exercise (exercise where the
muscles are contracting whilst lengthening) – examples being downhill running
and slow lowering of the weight to the chest during Bench Press.
The exact cause of DOMS is a little unclear –
however some possible explanations put forward by medical experts include the
build-up of lactic acid, muscle spasm, torn connective tissue and damaged
To minimise development of DOMS the following
suggestions need to be followed:
The good news is that most cases of DOMS gradually
subside and have no lasting effects – however if the following applies to you
then it is best to seek the advice of a Physiotherapist.