Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) - A new look at an age-old problem

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Graeme Close

Almost every athlete at some time in their career has experienced delayed onset muscle soreness, affectionately termed DOMS. The phenomenon of DOMS is caused by unaccustomed muscular work and is therefore most frequently experienced by athletes starting anew training regimen or following a break in training. There are currently many theories postulated to explain the causes of DOMS and even more suggestions of therapies to prevent or alleviate the pain and increase the recovery of muscle function. This article explores the concept of DOMS in relation to the types of exercise that induces DOMS; the likely causative factors; the relationship between DOMS and muscle damage; and potential methods to alleviate the pain.


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