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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is part of the iron game. But how do you manage DOMS? Here's how.

Anybody who's ever worked out with weights or experienced gravity knows about muscle soreness.

But did you know? There are 3 types of muscle pain.

Today, we talk about one of them: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or “DOMS.”

I thought I'd already written some material about this but after searching the archives, I hadn't. So here's an article that's long overdue. Apologies!

3 Types of Muscle Pain

  1. Acute muscle pain or soreness
  2. Injury
  3. DOMS

The first one is simply the pain you feel when you exercise a muscle. Some attribute the pain to lactic acid build up. But it's that pain you feel when you do a fair- to high number of reps. The muscle aches during the last few reps as well as a few minutes (sometimes even hours) afterward.

The second kind of muscle pain is actual injury. I don't think I need to describe it to you. It's one of those things: You know it when you feel it.

Sometimes it's even accompanied by noise. When I injured my elbow years ago, I heard, “POP POP POP POP,” along with a LOT of searing pain. I knew immediately that this wasn't good.

However, a few trips to the chiro, rest, and some therapy got me back to the gym.

What is DOMS?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is a different beast altogether. You usually don't experience it with every workout, nor do you experience it immediately after working out. It usually takes at least 12 hours to appear. Sometimes, you may not feel sore after an especially hard workout until 48 or even 72 hours later (IMHO, that's when it's really bad).

There are differing opinions on why delayed soreness sets in. Some think it's due to the aforementioned lactic acid build up that causes pain during an exercise. Others think that it's the metabolites that accrue due to the lactic acid buildup. Either way, it happens.

But more prevalent is the opinion that it's actually caused by the eccentric part of an exercise. This is what we call the “negative,” or lowering of the bar.

Exercise physiologists don't really fully understand why DOMS sets in, but we know it when we feel it.

And most of the time, it's glorious.

Yes, that's right – I love it when I'm sore after a workout. I know I had a good workout.

Now, it's sometimes difficult to move after DOMS sets in, especially after an intense leg workout.

But the worst really is the core.

Think about it: You can't sit, stand, or lie down (and then get up) without using your core. It's the worst when DOMS is really hitting you hard.

Which brings up…

How do you relieve DOMS? How do you get rid of it or lessen it?

That's the real question, right?

We know we had a great workout if we get DOMS. But how do you get past the pain and get through your day, much less work out later?

There are a few things that help. I'll share them below in no particular order. (You may be asking why? Which ONE below is most effective? I can't give you an answer. Even for myself, different therapies work to varying degrees each time out. So what do I do? All of them.)

  1. Alternating hot and cold therapy. Take a hot shower for 2-3 minutes, then turn the hot water down as far as you can stand it and shower for 1-2 minutes. Alternate 3-5 times. Concentrate the shower head on the sore muscles. If your chest is sore, concentrate the water there; if it's your legs, focus the stream on them.
    Use the water massage feature of the shower head, if available. Which leads to the next two:
  2. Get a massage. Hell yeah, it will hurt. But a good gentle massage will do wonders for DOMS. Don't get a deep massage unless you're a masochist.
  3. Foam roll. I hate this, probably because it hurts so damned much. And I think sometimes I feel better afterwards just because I stopped. It's like banging your head with a hammer – it feels so good when you quit. But, like a massage, it does seem to work.
  4. Take a hot bath, loaded with epsom salts. This is one of those “home remedies” that actually works. Very well. Finish off, though, with a cold shower. You can get epsom salts almost anywhere. I get mine here.
  5. Do a light workout using the same muscle. I mean really light. Don't do a lot of reps, either. If your legs are sore, just do a few squats with the bar or even bodyweight – just get the blood pumping. That really seems to be the key – increased blood flow. The theory being that there's damage in the muscles (not an injury, mind you) and the blood carries out the toxins and carries in the nutrients that repair the muscles.
  6. Last, try citrulline malate. I use this every day. What I've found is that it cuts way down on DOMS (so I don't get it in the first place).

You will find that as you progress, you will experience DOMS less and less. You'll only get it when you vary your workouts so much that your muscles are caught a little off-guard.

Below is a video from Lee Hayward about DOMS and how to help reduce it once you've got it.

Back Pain Relief Supplementation

low-back-man-plaid-shirt-1862213In the recent past, I've been lax on being consistent with my supplementation. I could make excuses: Work, vacation, kids, etc. Those all come into play, but it's really just laziness. And my back paid for it. I have been experiencing some pretty severe discomfort in my lower back (from numerous injuries, poor posture at work, sitting at the computer for 12-15 hours per day sometimes).

So I got consistent for a week. And my back pain vanished. The back pain resurfaced (because that's just what my back does — it's a real bitch sometimes), but it never got to the point of bothering me. That discomfort comes and goes, and I'm okay with that. I've lived with pain for many years; hours or even minutes without pain are incredible.

In all honesty, my back feels better now at 43 than it has for the last 30 years. My first memory of really bad back pain was at the age of 12. Then it got worse at 14. So, I've dealt with it for over 30 years. Trust me when I say that any amount of time that passes without pain or even discomfort is simply AWESOME. So you might be wondering what I am taking.

Zero medication. All supplements. Here's the list, all bought at Costco, Prograde, or Life Extension. Each dose is per MAJOR meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

  • Men's Multi-vitamin/mineral – 1 tablet
  • Calcium complex – 2 tablets
  • Fish Oil capsules – 2 capsules
  • Ginko Biloba – 1 capsule
  • TripleFlex (glucosamin, condroitin, MSM) – 2 capsules
  • Vitamin C – 1 tablet

NOTE: These are 2-3 times the recommended dosages per the manufacturer's recommendations, and about 50x the RDA. Please don't construe this as medical advice and certainly don't try this without your doctor's approval. I am not a doctor, just a guy who's experimented a LOT with supplements over the past 20-25 years and knows what works for him. I could die tomorrow, too, so what the heck do I know?

You may want to give this book a read if you suffer from chronic low back pain.

The Rotater – The #1 Shoulder Rehab and Stretching Device

shoulder-injury-rehab

by Chris Melton

Shoulder Rehab & Athletic Performance

The Rotater allows you to passively self-stretch internal & external shoulder rotation to increase shoulder function, range of motion and performance.

Joint Mechanix, LLC was founded in August of 2007 by long-time friends Scott Kay and Chris Melton. We created this company to manufacture and market the Rotater, a shoulder rehab and stretching device that Scott invented so that he could return to racing. We never imagined the Rotater would touch people all over the world!

We’re not Health Professionals!

That surprises some people – but they’re even more surprised to learn that we’re really industrial mechanics. That’s right, we fix machines – BIG machines.

For more about us, check out The Rotater.

Just a few of hundreds of satisfied customers say:

…I must say that the simplicity of the tool almost lends itself to skepticism but one try and any athlete will appreciate the benefit of the stretch. It’s so simple but effective. I use it all the time to relieve the shoulder stress of bench pressing and after seeing how effective it is I have introduced other lifters to it as well…

– Mike Bridges – 14 time World Champion Powerlifter

The nicest thing about the Rotater is that the athlete has total control of the stretch.

– Tamara Copes, M.S, ATC, LAT

…therapist, patients and families are pleased with the results – the orthopedists will be also when check-up time comes. Thank you for your great tool!

– Jane Davis, PT

I have been meaning to send you guys a message because your product is amazing!..

– Brent Crangle

If you place a premium on healthy shoulders, you owe it to yourself to try the Rotater.

Watch this brief video to see how it works:

Cure Back Pain in 7 Days?

low-back-pain

Is it possible to cure back pain in 7 days?

As a long-time sufferer of chronic low back pain, I was curious when I read about the Back Pain Cure.

Once I got the book, though, I was a believer. After only a few days, I have seriously less back pain than I've had in years.

Really.

As you may guess, especially if you've been here before, I like to lift weights. I've recently gotten the “heavy bug” too, so having lower back pain has really put a damper on my enthusiasm for lifting heavy. Especially my newly beloved deadlifts. But now I can.

When I was 12, I strained my back doing some hokey homemade hack squats. When I was 14, I could barely walk after a flare up. I distinctly remember gym class, trying to run pass routes during football games. It was horrible.

About 10 years ago I had a bad injury from poor form on some really heavy leg presses.

In fact, I was nearly off my feet for 8 months. I was diagnosed with a bulging disk and spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal column). Short of surgery, there was no cure.

At least according to the “experts.”

I've had quite a few bouts with these types of painful episodes over the past 30 years that I cannot remember a day without back pain.

Until yesterday.

I am so pissed, actually, that I didn't seek out this book sooner. But I guess I couldn't, since it was just published this year.

The author, Jesse Cannone, gives a complete analysis of all the things that could be wrong with your body, mind, and diet. And then he tells you how to deal with very specific back problems.

This book is literally worth its weight in gold. Actually, that's way off the mark. It's a paperback, so it doesn't weigh much, but it sure is worth a ton of money.

But by clicking this “back pain cure” link, it's free (you pay for shipping and handling).

I really dig this book. It simply talks about the issues, the causes, and the cures. Stuff you won't get from your doctor, therapist, or chiropractor.

NOTE: The links above are MY affiliate links. I liked the product so much because of what it did for me that I became an affiliate. I simply want to pass this information onto as many people as I can. Buy it from me or don't. But buy it.

Back Pain Relief?

low-back-pain-manMany faithful readers know that I've had my share of back pain over the years. In fact, I've experienced on-and-off back problems since I was 12. I remember exactly how I hurt my back the first time. I was doing hack squats the “old-fashioned” way – straddling a barbell with one arm in front and one arm behind.

I read in a bodybuilding magazine of this fantastic way to build front thigh mass called the hack squat. Because I was 12, didn't (and probably couldn't) belong to a gym (this was nearly 40 years ago), and didn't have the money or space to buy my own hack squat machine, I fashioned one myself.

Needless to say, you know the outcome. I tweaked my back to the point where I had severe pain in my lower back area and had a really hard time participating in sports. I remember at the time that I was in PE class (back when Physical Education was thought of as an integral part of a young person's education); it was winter so it was football season. Because I was fast, my team relied on me to run streaks, posts, corners, and other speed routes.

The pain really hampered my ability to get open. To this day, I do not know how I ran at all. The pain was quite severe. But being the stubborn fool, I “toughed” it out.

That episode lasted for a month or so.

I didn't have any more issues for several years. After college, I got a retail job at a sporting goods store. There was the normal selling, stocking, and administrative stuff. The stocking is what got me this time. I was moving a case of shoes. Rather than pick it up, I decided to push it across the floor. The bent position I took put my lower back in a compromised posture, exposing it to a shear force that was, looking back now, probably quite severe.

Again, the back went pop and I momentarily lost some feeling. I was in pretty severe discomfort for many months this time around. In fact, the excruciating pain did subside, but it never went away, fading into a dull ache that ranged in severity from a pain level of 1 to about 5, depending on seemingly random factors. In other words, I was always conscious of my lower back; it never let me forget or give me any relief from pain.

Fast forward 10 years. I had one last bout with tremendous back pain. I was doing really heavy leg presses and let myself do them in poor form, rounding my back at the bottom of the movement so that I could get the maximum range of motion and – my hope – getting the best leg stimulation possible.

That worked! My legs blew up in size and my lower back again got tweaked. This time, really badly. To the point that I became almost totally immobile. This time, the episode lasted 8 months. I was on Vallium, cortisone, heavy doses of Aleve; I saw a chiropractor (who only made it worse), an accupuncturist (minimal short-lived pain relief), even an orthopedic surgeon.

Yes, I almost succumbed to surgery! I was in a shambles. At the time, I ran a consulting business. I couldn't make appointments so my income dried up. It was the most dire time of my life.

I never contemplated suicide, but I came to understand why someone might end it all. Life was simply miserable.

What made it worse is that I had just met a woman that I fell in love with. I was such a miserable trainwreck that I felt this relationship slipping away, too. This made life even more desperate.

I literally tried everything short of the knife. I bought an inversion table and practiced inversion therapy religiously. I began using DMSO along with several over-the-counter medications. I stopped taking Vallium (now I knew what being a drug addict felt like and I certainly did not enjoy it).

I found a great physical therapist.

After several months of PT (both professionally-administered and on my own), I emerged with 80 percent less pain. More importantly, I became a functioning human being again.

Turns out, after having an MRI, that I had a slight bulge in a disk, but my physiology being what it was, that tiny bulge was pressing hard on my sciatic nerve.

Fast forward to about 7 months ago. I began taking heavy doses of supplements: Calcium, condroitin, glucosamine, fish oils, MSM. I began drinking a ton of water. I cut out soda (caffeine and sugar are inflammatory).

Most interesting thing: I began doing heavy deadlifts! I think all along that my core was in an out-of-balance situation (my abs were way stronger than my lower back), made worse because I had back pain, so I didn't do any lower back work.

Now that I've balanced my core strength and give my body plenty of nourishment without the inflammatory chemicals, I am now pain-free.

The weirdest thing is, I start to develop pain in my low back with even a single soda!

I am certainly no back expert. Nor am I a chronic pain expert. I know what works for me. I have no idea what works for you. However, I do know that Jesse Cannone, author of Back Pain Cure, is an expert at healing bad backs. Jesse has the perfect program for making your back stronger than ever and removing pain forever.

It's called Back Pain Cure. If I'd have had this program 10, 20, or 30 years ago, I'd have had a much more productive and happy life.

 


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