Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

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Those of us living with fibromyalgia experience the constant feeling of muscle tightness or muscle fatigue as though we have been strenuously exercising. In order to lessen these pains, exercising is recommended. Sometimes these exercises can cause delayed onset muscle soreness.

delayed onset muscle soreness - find out what it is, how to prevent it, and five ways to treat it #fibromyalgia #delayedonsetmusclesoreness #doms

What is delayed onset muscle soreness?

Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is when small microscopic tears occur in the muscle fibers and is a small muscle strain injury.

DOMS occurs 12-24 hours after the exercise with the greatest pain being 24-72 hours after the exercise. It usually lasts 3-5 days.

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What causes DOMS?

Any exercise that works or stretches the muscles can cause tears in the muscle fibers. Exercises that are more common to cause it are jogging, running, step aerobics, strength training or walking downhill.

What are the symptoms of DOMS?

Soreness is not the only symptom. Other symptoms include:

  • swelling of the affected area
  • stiffness of joints
  • tenderness to area
  • weakness in the affected muscle area
  • muscle tissue damage (rare and severe cases)

When to seek medical attention

Most cases of delayed onset muscle soreness does not require medical attention; however, if your limbs become severely swollen or urine is dark, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

What are the treatment options?

Many of the treatment options for fibromyalgia can be used for this type of muscle soreness. They include:

  • ice pack
  • massage
  • tender-point acupressure
  • pain medicine (ibuprofen, etc)
  • topical ointment (Bengay)

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How to prevent DOMS

Just like preventing fibromyalgia flares, they are no for-sure ways to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness. There are ways, however, to lessen the soreness.

  • stretch before and after each exercise
  • take your time with each exercise and any new exercise program
  • take breaks in between exercise regiments

Is there any additional information you would like to add to this information on delayed onset muscle soreness?

Brandi, Fibro mom


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Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

5 thoughts on “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

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  • February 3, 2016 at 11:14 am

    I just saw a poll on the side of the page pop out asking the question whether or not the voter sees a doctor for their chronic illness. What a bizarre question. I can think I have any number of things, I can search the internet all I want, I can proclaim to the stars I have whatever it is but…..until I have a diagnosis, supported and substantiated by a physician and whatever tests or whatever it took to get that? I do NOT have a Chronic Illness. Just my 2 cents. WAY too many people are claiming this or that without a clue what is really wrong with them, if anything. I’ve had this for nearly 20 years now and it was a nightmare getting a diagnosis when Fibro had only been acknowledged by WHO a few of years earlier and still carried a giant stigma of a psych aspect – mine is inherited, btw…they tried to institutionalize my mom in the early 1960’s because ‘they couldn’t do anything more for her.’ My dad said no. If someone is so concerned about themselves as to actually be at a site like this without any confirmation from the medical community (and not saying you don’t know what you know), they need to get their rears to the doctor’s office and get a diagnosis. They could have something that is not Fibro and is instead causing long term, irreparable damage while they are busy self-diagnosing. I would hate to see that. (ps I worked in the medical field before I got sick – I know what putting stuff off cuz you think it’s something else can do to a person and it is not worth it. Everybody’s got Obamacare. Please use it.)

    • February 4, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Thank you for your comment and concerns. Yes, I agree that everyone should see a physician about their chronic illness; however, the reality is that no everyone does for one reason or another. Thank you for visiting my site.


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