Does Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) keep you from performing at 100% following a workout? This pain is common in all types of exercise, from marathon running to yoga. What makes this pain different from “normal” athletic soreness?
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness after a workout
Different from other types of soreness DOMS results from tiny tears of muscle fibers. These microtraumas are actual tears of your muscles, and they take time to heal. During that healing process there is inflammation causing sensitivity throughout the muscles. Prior thinking in training circles thought lactic acid build-up caused soreness. This was scientifically proven as inaccurate, as reported by Sports Illustrated (click here for the article).¹
Is it soreness or pain from injury?
Pain from exercise comes in two forms: sore muscles or injury pain. Basically sore muscles have a wide area of pain. Injury pain is stinging or stabbing pain in a small area. If you have pain immediately while working out you may have suffered an injury. On the other hand, soreness develops slowly, growing in intensity, until you are in serious pain. Most people simply massage their sore muscles and wait. But athletes who need their bodies to work will use ice packs, creams, stem therapy, and cryotherapy.
Whole Body Cryotherapy for soreness
Cryotherapy takes a space-age approach towards healing and preventing soreness. Instead of an ice bath that takes 20 minutes and is a hassle many athletes are using whole body cryotherapy to help heal soreness in 3 minutes. During a cryotherapy session the chamber fills with cold, dry air that reaches temperatures as low as -230°F. This causes vasoconstriction, which is a squeezing of blood vessels that pushes the blood inward towards the body’s core. The ultra-cold temperatures cause the body to anticipate a shock to the system and respond by preparing the body for healing from the anticipated trauma. This results in a body-hack: the blood is hyper-oxygenated and filled with inflammation reducing enzymes. Once the 3 minutes are over the now-rich blood returns to the skeletal muscles and reduces DOMS faster than any other recovery method.