Partake in any physical activity for the first time or after a long layoff, regardless of whether it’s work or sports related, chances are your going to feel some soreness. Never mind, as the old adage states, “no pain, no gain”. The soreness will usually begin 6-8 hours after the event, and continue for up to 48 hours or longer in some cases. This phenomenon is known in the trade as delayed onset muscle soreness, otherwise termed as DOM’s. “No pain, no gain”, is a dangerous myth perpetuated by dinosaurs.
There are many factors as to why this happens, and it is usually blamed on a build up of excess lactic acid, or engaging muscles that are usually dormant. This is a misconception, as the pain is caused by tiny tears within muscle tissue, which initiates a signal response from pain receptors in the nervous system. Muscle tears happen, because of muscle imbalance, a lack of flexibility and other factors. The cause of pain is caused inflammation, which is a precursor for the metabolic process of tissue repair.
The pain can be avoided or reduced with the proper preparation for physical activity, using methods such as a warm up/warm down, functional exercise and physical therapy. A combination of massage, Yoga or Pilates for instance, can be used for prevention as well as rehabilitation.
Before you dust off those golf clubs, by those new running shoes, or attack that neglected garden, have a conversation with and physical therapist and exercise professional. If it’s too late to prevent it, then we can always fix it.