Sore after your workout? It’s probably DOMS


If you workout then you probably know what DOMS feels like, but you might not know what DOMS is or what it’s doing to your body.

What is DOMS?

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a result of microscopic tears within the muscle tissues. The pain is your body’s way of signaling to you that repair is going on in your body and that you should take it easy for a few days.

Real life example of DOMS: If you feel great after your workout. But 24 hours later you are sore, stiff and your muscles hurt. You are suffering from DOMS.

Michele Olson, Ph.D. professor at Auburn University Montgomery says “[DOMS] is a sign that your body is on the move to improvements in strength. You overload the muscles which is important for your body to adapt upwards and get fitter and stronger.”

What do you do if you are suffering from DOMS?

  • If you still want to work out: Take a break and do lighter weights and fewer reps/sets.
  • To reduce scar tissue, knots and to keep muscles supple and limber: Take a yoga or stretch class. Do light massage or easy foam rolling (if you can stand it.)
  • Nutritional intervention to aid recovery: Stay hydrated with Antioxidant-rich juice or caffeinated coffee or tea before or after a workout.
  • If you prefer herbal solutions: Apply peppermint oil, or Arnica Gel,
  • Promote circulation and muscle recuperation:  Apply ice for 15 then heat for 15 minutes then back to the ice.
  • Reducing the ‘Oww’ levels: Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatories but don’t overdue the doses. Pain is a signal to your body to use caution.
  • If you are at the ‘Ohh S–t’ level: Call your doctor if the pain is not getting better and lasts more than a week or localized to one side of the body.


Currently, there is no treatment for DOMS but the techniques above can take the pain down a notch. Recovery from DOMS takes about a week to heal and recover.

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