You work out to feel good about yourself… But the next day, you aren’t feeling so good. Ouch! What causes muscle soreness, particularly after a new or extra challenging workout? And what can you do about it?

It’s called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS, and it usually strikes a day or so following your workout. You’ll notice that your muscles feel sore and stiff, and that you have a reduced range of motion for a few days. It can be a bit annoying, but as long as the pain isn’t severe, DOMS is just a sign that your workout, well, worked.

Resistance training causes micro-tears in the muscles, which results in inflammation and increased blood flow to the area. A minimal amount of swelling can trigger your pain receptors and contributes to that feeling of stiffness.

As your muscles recover from the temporary strain, they become stronger and better able to handle future workouts of this type.

But what can you do about it? The following steps can help you to feel more comfortable after a particularly grueling exercise session:

  • Perform a more gentle exercise the next day, such as light cardio or yoga
  • Spend a bit more time warming up your muscles before the next workout
  • Stay hydrated, drinking at least 64 fluid ounces of water daily
  • Work a different muscle group next time, and continue to alternate muscle groups to allow each one time to recover before the next workout

Sometimes you might suspect that your pain goes beyond simple DOMS. If that’s the case, call us to schedule an appointment. We can assess you for injuries, check for alignment issues, and perform any needed chiropractic adjustments to address those.