Experiencing muscle soreness is a normal response after playing sports, working out or even doing housework. Your muscles are also bound to get sore if:

  • You performed a new physical activity that you are not accustomed to, like participating in a marathon while you normally only jog for a couple of miles.
  • You performed unusual workouts that lengthen rather than shorten your muscles, like jogging downhill.
  • You suddenly increased your workout length or intensity level.

These adjustments to your workout routine can result in injuries in the muscle fiber and surrounding tissue. The following day after the workout, you will definitely start feeling sore. This is referred to as delayed onset of muscle soreness. It peaks in roughly two days, and then it gets better gradually. You will basically have less soreness or no soreness at all after two days since you have now strengthened both the connective tissues and the muscles.

What is causing your joint pain?


If you experience an achy and sore feeling from your joints, you should definitely go to a doctor as this could be an indication of osteoarthritis. This health condition usually becomes more prevalent as you grow older. The reason this happens is because the cartilage which usually cushions your joints is worn away with time, leaving your joints painful and inflamed. Joint pain could also be a result of injury or overuse, for instance, knee injuries caused by an issue with a meniscus or ligament. Ligaments are groups of tissue responsible for connecting bones inside the body while a meniscus refers to the rubber disc which cushions the knee.

Definition of DOMS


The pain you experience anywhere from 10 to 48 hours following an exercise is something experts call DOMS, which is an abbreviation for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is brought about by microscopic tears in muscle tissues that occur during the workout. In general, the pain is how the body signals that repair and recovery is currently going on. Your body will then let you know the right time to return back to exercising, through reducing the soreness.

How to treat DOMS

While there is no clear cure for DOMS, there are a few things you can do to assist in reducing its severity:

Light stretching

After a workout, muscles normally become tighter as they enter recovery mode, intensifying the soreness feeling. Gentle and slow stretching of muscles will help alleviate tightness and essentially relieve the pain.

Gentle massage

A full body massage can help relax your body following a workout. The beneficial effect of massages comes from the fact that they help promote blood flow in the muscles, which speeds up recovery and shortens the period of DOMS.


This is a low dose painkiller that can be purchased from a chemist without prescription. Ibuprofen has been displayed to reduce muscle soreness and will help those with severe DOMS symptoms.

Warm bath

Similar to massaging the affected area, warm bath water loosens up all the tight muscles, thus improving circulation. Improved circulation means that more nutrients and oxygen rich blood flows to the aching muscles, thus providing relief.

Cold/hot treatment

Apply a heat pack and ice pack for 15 minutes each, alternating between the two. Studies have suggested that changing hot and cold ice packs are highly beneficial in promoting muscle recuperation and circulation.

Taking Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 is a component of fish oil that is known for easing inflammation and reducing soreness following an intense strength training exercise. Other natural sources of Omega-3 include nuts, spinach and salmon.

Plan a healthy diet including staying hydrated

If you experience soreness from intense exercises like strength training, your muscles are engaged in rebuilding themselves. This rebuilding process requires lots of protein and water. Try to consume one gram of protein daily for each pound of lean body mass. For instance, a 160 pound man at 20% body fat requires roughly 130g of protein daily. This will considerably improve recovery times, and also guard against muscle loss caused by poor nutrition. A good practice is to take some protein 20 minutes before and after working out.

Do not forget to drink lots of water during the day, particularly those engaging in rigorous activities and exercises. Your muscles require water for peak performance, while the body requires this important ingredient for repairing your muscles.

How to avoid soreness

Take supplements

Taking supplements like vitamins and antioxidants is one of the ways of avoiding soreness. These supplements will prepare your system for the strenuous nature of the workout. In particular, antioxidants and vitamin C have been quite effective in preventing muscle soreness. Artichokes, green tea and blueberries are rich in antioxidants, while guavas, citrus fruits and chill peppers have high vitamin C content.

In addition, supplementing with amino acids will also decrease your vulnerability to muscle soreness. These supplements work by clearing waste products away from the muscles. This may also promote protein turnover and recovery, hence building muscle.

Drink coffee

Besides just energizing you in the morning, coffee may have other hidden benefits for you. Various studies have found that drinking coffee before an exercise session reduces fatigue and muscle soreness by about half. Provided you have no medical issues with caffeine intake, experts recommend at least two cups before working out. You will also benefit from the well documented capability of caffeine to enhance endurance.

Foam rollers

Just like a massage, using foam rollers helps increase blood circulation to the muscles using applied pressure. The advantage of using a foam roller is that it provides a cheap and easy alternative to massage since you can use it on your own. In addition, since you already know which muscles you want to exercise in a certain day, you can ensure to target these areas for best outcomes in pain prevention.

When to reach out for medical help

We have established that feeling some form of mild discomfort following vigorous physical activities is normal and it usually subsides after 3 days. Nevertheless, if you experience severe pain as you perform a certain exercise, or your soreness has not cleared up in one week, then it is time to seek medical help. Understanding the underlying causes of chronic pain is important, because constant overexertion could result in long term injuries. A doctor must be consulted for a correct diagnosis of the problem and also appropriate therapy can be recommended.