Have you ever worked out, went to sleep, and felt sore the next day? Or the day after that? That was because of something called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Massage can help increase the circulation to the area and decrease the overall recovery time!

What is DOMS?

DOMS is a dull, achy pain that takes a little bit longer to set in after a workout  or exercise.

The muscle soreness usually comes with tenderness (to the touch) and stiffness. DOMS also usually sets in 6-48 hours after exercise and can last up to 7 days.  The timeline for DOMS varies from person to person.

What Causes DOMS?

The cause of DOMS used to be the belief that “lactic acid” was a toxic metabolic waste and that acid built up in the muscle. This caused the body to perceive pain at the affected area.

DOMS is now more commonly believed to be caused by micro trauma or micro tears in the muscle. The body then starts the inflammation process to bring blood and nutrients to help repair the damaged tissue.

What can I do?

There are a variety of things you can do for DOMS, most of which involve increasing blood flow

to the area. Ways to do that are:

  • Gentle massage
  • Stretching
  • Hot baths/Saunas/Epsom salt baths
  • Foam rolling
  • Low intensity training


When should I go seek medical advice?

  • If the pain started during exercise
  • The pain feels like it’s more than just muscular
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Pain doesn’t feel like its resolving itself

So if you’re feeling sore, do yourself and your body a favour and get a massage!

Book a massage with Sean Li, Registered Massage Therapist today at Apple Creek Sports Medicine Centre today!