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DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – DOMS is when muscle pain or stiffness develops a day or two after playing sports, weight lifting, exercise, or work that involves concentrated physical activity like lifting and carrying objects. DOMS is considered a normal response to extended exertion and is part of the adaptation process that the recovering muscles experience as they undergo hypertrophy or an increase in muscle size. It is common in individuals who have just started exercising, increased the duration or intensity of their workouts, or just beginning a physically demanding job.

DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness


When muscle contracts as it lengthens is known as eccentric muscle contractions, which is most associated with DOMS. It is related to increased stress in muscle fibers as they are exerted excessively. This also happens when engaging in movements the muscles are not used to, like a new exercise or helping a friend move heavy boxes, furniture, etc. Examples include:

  • New exercise or unusual physical task.
  • Descending stairs.
  • Lifting/Lowering weights or heavy objects.
  • Running downhill.
  • Deep squats.


Individuals will not feel DOMS during the workout or physical activity. Delayed symptoms include:

  • Swelling in the affected muscles.
  • Muscles feel tender to the touch.
  • Muscle fatigue.
  • Reduced range of motion and movement.
  • Pain and stiffness when moving.
  • Decreased muscle strength.

Treatment Options

Time and waiting for the muscles to repair themselves is the natural healing process, but steps can be taken to ease the soreness, stiffness, and pain. This includes:

It is different for everybody; personal experience will determine which works best for the individual.

Active Recovery

  • Active recovery is a technique that uses low-impact aerobic exercise right after a workout to increase blood flow to the muscles.
  • The increased blood supply can help relieve the inflammation.


This technique is used for acute injuries but can be applied to delayed onset muscle soreness. It stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation


A chiropractic massage is for healing sore muscles, tendons, ligaments after an intense game, workout, etc. Chiropractic increases the blood and nerve circulation around the muscles delivering added oxygen and nutrients. This type of massage helps loosen the muscles/connecting tissues allowing the body to recover and heal quicker.

Body Composition

When Muscles Are Not Rested

Not taking time to recover because of overtraining/working can have consequences on the body. Inflammation that is not given the time to heal can lead to:

  • Injuries.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Muscle mass loss.
  • Mental health issues.

The body’s immune system cannot function at total capacity during intense physical stress. This causes difficulty when trying to fight off germs and viruses. Studies have found preventing inflammation and injury requires prioritizing rest. Constantly being on the go and under intense physical stress can take a toll not only on the body but the brain as well. This can lead to irritability, frustration, anger, which leads to other health problems generating a vicious cycle.


Cheung, Karoline et al. “Delayed onset muscle soreness: treatment strategies and performance factors.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 33,2 (2003): 145-64. doi:10.2165/00007256-200333020-00005

Guo, Jianmin et al. “Massage Alleviates Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness after Strenuous Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Frontiers in physiology vol. 8 747. 27 Sep. 2017, doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00747

Reinke, Simon et al. “The influence of recovery and training phases on body composition, peripheral vascular function and immune system of professional soccer players.” PloS one vol. 4,3 (2009): e4910. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004910

Heavy School Backpacks: Avoid The Negative Effects | El Paso, Tx.

Heavy School Backpacks: Avoid The Negative Effects | El Paso, Tx.

Now in the heart of the school year � new shoes, haircuts, homework, and their bulging backpacks. Think about the backpack your child is carrying. Sure, they load them up with books, but did you know that wearing a heavy backpack for a long time can actually hurt your child? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has provided some helpful guidelines for choosing a backpack for your child and avoiding the injury that can result from one that is too heavy.

What are the health risks of a heavy backpack?

Wearing a heavy backpack can strain the shoulders, back, and neck. As the child�s body tries to compensate for the extra weight, such as leaning forward, it can adopt positions that put the spine out of alignment. It can also cause the muscles to fatigue and weaken. This results in poor posture and a misaligned spine.

The longer he or she carries the extra weight, the worse it gets. Over time, the child can experience pain, stiffness, and problems with flexibility and range of motion. This can significantly increase the child�s potential for injury. The effects may include backache, sore or stiff neck, sore shoulders, and headaches.

heavy backpacks chiropractic care, el paso tx.

How heavy is too heavy for a child�s backpack?

According to the AAP, a child�s backpack should weigh less than 10 to 20 percent of his or her body weight � and no more. However, a Consumer Reports survey showed that the lower end of the range, around 10 percent or less, is preferable. In short, the lighter the backpack, the healthier it is for your child. A good rule of thumb is to observe your child wearing the backpack. If they are stooped or leaning forward, it is too heavy.

Children who are shorter, as well as girls, may be more prone to back pain caused by carrying heavy backpacks. This means that for these children you need to aim for even lighter weights. Children who are overweight may also be at risk for injury. The excess weight already puts a strain on their joints and muscles; the heavy backpack exacerbates the situation.

Children who wear their backpack over one shoulder also increase their risk of injury. This puts all the weight on one side, causing the child to bend or lean in an effort to compensate for the off-kilter weight. This can strain the shoulder and back, eventually causing injury and pain.

Helping your child avoid carrying a heavy backpack.

If you notice that your child cannot stand up straight while wearing the backpack, then it is too heavy. You should inspect your child�s backpack on a regular basis to test the heaviness. When purchasing a backpack, aim for wide, padded straps that are adjustable. It should fit the child well and to be too big. The straps should not be too loose. You want it to fit close to your child�s body and should come to just below the waist � but not too far. Don�t allow your child to carry the backpack on one shoulder, encourage them to wear it on both shoulders. This distributes the weight more evenly.

If your child is carrying a heavy backpack, you may need to talk to their teacher to see what is necessary for him or her to carry daily, and what can be left at home or at school. Work together to find ways to lighten the load and avoid injury. Also, keep in mind, your child may not bring your attention to the fact that their backpack is too heavy. It is up to you to observe and intervene for them.

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