Muscular discomfort which develops 1 or 2 days after exercise has stopped. DOMS may be caused by structural damage to the muscle cells or inflammation in and around the muscles. DOMS typically affects those who only exercise occasionally or who perform strenuous exercises to which they are unaccustomed. It is greatest following eccentric training. For example, muscle soreness is far less after running on a flat track than after an equivalent bout of downhill running. Treatment of DOMS consists of rest and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as aspirin, to relieve the pain. Muscle soreness can be minimized by reducing eccentric actions during early training periods; or by training at low intensity during early training and gradually increasing intensity; or by beginning a training programme with an exhaustive bout of high-intensity exercise. The exhaustive, high intensity exercise causes great soreness for the first few days, but seems to offer some protection against further muscle soreness. Compare acute muscle soreness.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.