Is there a way to reduce muscle soreness?
Most people experience muscle soreness following unaccustomed eccentric exercise. The eccentric muscle contractions cause damage to muscle fibers triggering a chain of events that produce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), loss of range of motion, and loss of strength. Many interventions have been used in an attempt to prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness.? ?
Evidence suggests that warm-up exercises prior to physical activity can reduce the risk of injury. However, direct evidence of effects of warm-up on delayed onset muscle soreness is still unknown (1,2).
Studies examining this subjects are few but they show similar results. Dynamic warm-up exercise is effective in protecting from reductions in muscle function, range of motion, and muscle soreness in the days following exercise. Carrying out multiple sub-maximal concentric muscle actions before an eccentric-based exercise could also help attenuate loss of muscle function in the recovery period (3).
Concentric fatiguing exercise before strenuous eccentric exercise does not exacerbate muscle damage. Exercise probably serve as a ”warm up” in such a way that the muscle was better prepared to respond to soreness induced by the following exercise (4,5).
The true mechanism of this phenomena is yet be confirmed. One theory is that warm-up reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness by increasing the muscle temperature thus increasing the compliance of structures in series with myofibrills. This would reduce the degree of stretch experienced by myofibrills, which could decrease the myofibrillar damage that occurs with unaccustomed exercise and the resulting muscle soreness.
1. McCrary J et al. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2015;49(14):935-942.
2. Law RHerbert R. 2007;53(2):91-95.
3. Ingham S et al. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2010;28(13):1377-1382.
4. Nosaka KClarkson P. 1997;15(5):477-483.
5. Olsen O, Sjøhaug M, Van Beekvelt M, Mork P. Journal of Human Kinetics. 2012;35(1).
Post provided by #teamEBT member @maria_ekblom, Licensed physiotherapist and personal trainer.