n International SportMed Journal - Delayed-onset muscle soreness : proposed mechanisms, prevention, and treatment

Volume 2, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common condition characterized by stiff, painful muscles after exercise. Exercise in which the muscles are stretched while resisting a load leads to high risk of DOMS. The muscle pain peaks about 24-48 hours after the exercise and can persist for up to a week. Morphological changes in the muscle fibers are indicative of cellular damage. There is no modality that consistently reduces the symptoms of DOMS, but many studies have shown that its severity can be reduced by a prior exposure to a bout of exercise. This is known as the repeat bout effect. It has been shown that a single bout of exercise can protect the muscle for up to 10 weeks. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be used with caution in treating the symptoms of DOMS; one study has shown that the short-term advantages after treatment with NSAIDs might be followed by negative long-term consequences.

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