Sore muscles | What is muscle soreness? Symptoms, causes and remedies

By the healthiergang writer Lorenzo Palmieri, personal trainer e fitness model.

Sore muscles

There are actually 2 types of exercise-induced muscle soreness.

1. Acute-onset muscle soreness

it is felt during and / or immediately after anaerobic training with a sense of burning.

This type of transient soreness is directly linked to the excess lactic acid typical of lactic acid anaerobic training.

This event is transient as lactic acid is cleared from the body within 60 minutes of the end of the activity at the latest.

2. Delayed onset muscle soreness.

 in scientific literature referred to as DOMS or delay "onset muscle soreness" is generally perceived in a period of time following anaerobic physical activity, finding the peak between 24 and 48 hours following the end of the activity, and is not connected to the production of lactic acid.

Sore muscles | What is muscle soreness? Symptoms, causes and remedies


Typical symptoms often associated with sore muscles include:

  • loss of strength;
  • pain;
  • muscle fragility;
  • stiffness and swelling;

There is a loss of strength that typically peaks in the first 48 hours following exercise, and full recovery can extend up to 5 days. Pain peaks within 1-3 days after exercise and typically subsides within 7 days at the latest.


It is a simple physiological response of our organism to a training intensity it is not used to. DOMS training is often linked to eccentric exercise, such as downhill running, bodyweight exercises, and traditional weight training.

The injury itself is the result of eccentric exercise, which causes damage to the muscle cell membrane, and triggers an inflammatory response. This inflammatory response leads to the formation of metabolic waste products, which act as a chemical stimulus on the nerve endings, directly causing the sensation of pain.

These metabolic waste products also increase vascular permeability and attract neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) to the injured area. Once in the area, neutrophils generate free radicals that can further damage the cell membrane. 

Swelling is also a common occurrence at the site of the membrane injury, and can lead to an additional sensation of pain.

Sore Muscles - Do We All Feel The Same Way?

NO! Absolutely not, they are not pains that everyone feels or rather they depend on the degree of training of the subject in question.

For example, if we take into consideration two subjects A and B, with subject A who trains about 5 times a week and subject B who trains 2 times a week, it is clear that between the two, subject B, less trained, will feel 'greater the Dom.


Are the Doms due to lactic acid?

NO! And I'll briefly explain why ... First of all, lactic acid is produced following an aerobic training session.

Excessive production of this leads to soreness, but this is only a transitory event, in fact between 45 and 60 minutes, after training it is completely eliminated by the body.


Our mission in this case will be to help our body, the muscles, to heal these micro-lesions and vascularize the areas involved as much as possible both to eliminate waste substances, catabolites, and to bring nutrients that accelerate the metabolism thus speeding up protein synthesis. .

Therefore, they can help:

  1. Stretching: Doing a session of at least 20 minutes of stretching after an eccentric training session helps you in recovery and helps you to ease the delayed soreness then.
  2.  Contrast shower: in fact, taking a shower going from a hot to a cold temperature after a heavy training session recalls the blood and lymphatic circulation thus accelerating the elimination of metabolites.
  3. Integration with vitamins and minerals: in particular with antioxidants that counteract the action of free radicals, waste products of muscle metabolisms.
  4. Draining massages: a nice massage helps relax the muscles and relieve pain.

In conclusion

It is a good idea not to completely suspend training but also to resume a light activity such as a jog the day after. In fact, after warming up, the muscles have a normal yield and the pain disappears.

In reality, the Doms are paradoxically appreciated and sought after by those who practice this activity and we will not try to cure them at all.


Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you are concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or making major changes to your diet.


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