Those of us living with fibromyalgia experience the constant feeling of muscle tightness and/or muscle fatigue as though we have been strenuously exercising. To help lessen these pains, exercising is recommended. However, exercising can worsen muscle pain and also cause muscle soreness. So how do we know if the pain is fibromyalgia pain or delayed onset muscle soreness?Is the muscle pain your feeling caused by #fibromyalgia pain or delayed onset muscle soreness? Find out! #doms #delayedonsetmusclesoreness Click To Tweet
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
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. It usually occurs 12-24 hours after the exercise with the greatest pain being 24-72 hours after the exercise (hence the term ‘delayed’). It usually lasts 3-5 days.
What causes DOMS?
Any high-intensity exercise Exercises that are commonly linked to 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 do 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:
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
Fibromyalgia Pain or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?
Exercise is encouraged for fibromyalgia patients in order to keep the body moving in an attempt to lessen muscle soreness and stiffness. Stretching and walking help with stiffness, too, but it also improves muscle fatigue (to a degree). Moving the body also improves circulation and helps with overall wellness.
Of course, the type of exercise is important, too. Some fibromyalgia thrivers can run, bike long distances, and weight lift but that is not typical for the average fibromyalgia patient. Low impact exercises are good and increasing the duration of the exercises should be down slowly.
To determine if the pain your feeling is fibro or DOMS, first, keep a pain log and track it for at least one week. Be sure to keep to your normal routine and not partaking in any new activities. After you’ve tracked it for the determined amount of time, review it to recognize any patterns. Look for any pains that typically started within 24 hours of exercising. Track how long the pains lasted, too.
This should help determine if you are experiencing fibromyalgia pain or DOMS from exercising. If you’re still uncertain, be sure to track it for a longer period of time.
For more information on determining the difference between the two, check out this article Fibromyalgia Pain Vs. Muscle Soreness: Monitoring Pain During Exercise.