Why Are My Muscles So Sore?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Is...

  • Completely normal
  • Will lessen over time
  • Caused by exercise outside your normal range of workout intensity
  • Mainly in the 'lengthening phase' of your exercise movement
  • Aggravated by stress
  • It is different for different people

3 Things You Can Do To Help.

Realise that you haven't broken anything, although at times it can feel like you have a serious injury. Changing the intensity of your exercise normally creates some soreness in your muscles. There are 3 things that you can do to help.

  • Reduce the intensity of your workout. Even if you turn up to the gym and walk on the treadmill for 15mins.
  • Don't skip any workouts. We need to send the message to your body to prepare the muscles for change, that this is the new activity level. Skipping workouts will only prolong the 'sore' phase.
  • Drink more water. This reduces your metabolic stress and helps to detox your body.

Good News

You haven't hurt yourself, although if you have gone at it really hard and bad case of DOMs can feel like you should be in hospital!

A true injury feels different. DOMs symptoms are soreness, tightness and almost like your muscles are bruised.

If you have torn a muscle or sprained a ligament then you need a different course of action.


While the best course of action with DOMs is to keep moving, injuries may need to be treated.

If you have injured a muscle you need to immediately take action. Consider R.I.C.E.R

RICER is an acronym that helps you to remember to:

REST -  ​Rest reduces further damage. Avoid as much movement as possible to limit further injury. Don’t put any weight on the injured part of the body.

ICE - Apply a cold pack to the injury for 20 minutes every 2 hours. Continue this treatment for the first 48 -72 hours. Ice cools the tissue and can reduce pain, swelling and bleeding.

COMPRESSION - Apply a compression bandage, such as Elastoplast’s Crepe Bandage, covering the injured area as well as the areas above and below. Compression can help to reduce bleeding and swelling. Check the bandage is not too tight.

ELEVATION - Elevate the injured area to stop bleeding and swelling. You may want to place the injured area on a pillow for comfort and support.

REFERRAL - Always see a health professional if you feel you have injured yourself. 

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