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If you’ve exercised before no doubt you have felt the dreaded next day ache.

Now the competitive sport season has kicked off, periods of soreness following a game or workout may increase – particularly if you are exercising at a higher intensity than you are accustomed too.

The medical term for this pain is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (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.

To minimise development of DOMS the following suggestions need to be followed:

  • take it slow and gradually build up the amount of exercise you do in your session
  • do not increase your sets, reps and weights by more than 10% per week
  • ensure you do a thorough cool down following your game – if you have ever watched live sport you would have seen players doing gentle running and cool down drills after their games – this is one of the reasons why.


Am I injured?

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 advice from CQ Physio:

  • the pain is still present and not resolving more than 48 hours post exercise.
  • the pain came on during the exercise or game (not the day after) and was more sudden in onset.
  • the pain is located in and around the joints and not just limited to muscles.
  • there is swelling and discomfort in and around the joints.