Why Does Muscle Soreness Sometimes Feel Worse Two Days After A Workout (DOMS)?

Why does muscle soreness sometimes feel worse two days after a workout (DOMS)?

Muscle Soreness and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Muscle soreness that gets worse after two days of exercising is commonly referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, also known as DOMS. It's important to note that this type of muscle soreness is different, from the pain you might experience during or right after a workout.

DOMS typically starts around 12 to 24 hours after exercising. Reaches its peak between 24 to 72 hours afterward. There are reasons why you may feel DOMS intensely two days after your workout;

  • Muscle Damage; When you exercise, especially if it involves unfamiliar activities tiny damage occurs in your muscle fibers. These small tears are a part of the muscle growth and adaptation process as your body repairs. Strengthens the damaged fibers. This rebuilding process can cause inflammation, which usually reaches its point 48 hours later and contributes to the sensation of soreness.
  • Inflammatory Response; Exercise can trigger a response as your body tries to heal those tears in your muscles. Inflammation can lead to increased retention and swelling in the muscles, which may not reach its peak until a day or two, after your workout making the feelings of tightness and soreness more pronounced.
  • Metabolic Buildup; Intense workouts can cause the build up of metabolic byproducts, such, as acid in the muscle tissue. Although lactic acid is quickly eliminated from the muscles after exercise, other metabolites and the associated repair processes can contribute to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
  • Tissue; Resistance training and exercises that put a strain on the muscles also stress the tissues that bind muscle fibers together and connect them to bones. This stress response in these tissues may also have a delayed impact leading to the sensation of soreness.
  • Enzymatic Changes; When muscle damage occurs various enzymes involved in muscle function undergo alterations, in their activity levels. These enzymatic changes can have effects that contribute to muscle discomfort and might reach their peak days after the initial exercise session.

DOMS is a part of the process where muscles recuperate and become stronger. While it can be uncomfortable it generally diminishes within a days. In the meantime engaging in exercise practicing stretching techniques staying hydrated and getting sufficient rest may help alleviate soreness. If soreness persists or becomes noticeably severe it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional as it could indicate a injury.

Here are some additional resources you can check out to learn more about Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and how to manage it;

  • The American College of Sports Medicine has information, on DOMS. You can find it here.
  • Mayo Clinic offers advice on dealing with muscle soreness. You can read more about it here.
  • There is an article, in "Sports Medicine" that reviews the mechanisms, prevention and treatment of DOMS. You can access it here.

Remember to consult with fitness or medical professionals before starting a workout routine. If you experience severe muscle soreness.


1 Other Answers To: "Why Does Muscle Soreness Sometimes Feel Worse Two Days After A Workout (DOMS)?"

Why does muscle soreness sometimes feel worse two days after a workout (DOMS)?

When you feel intense muscle soreness two days, after exercising

it's likely because of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which's a common and sometimes painful outcome of physical activity that pushes your muscles beyond their usual limits.

DOMS happens when your muscles undergo lengthening

contractions, where they resist the force that shortens them. This type of muscle action often leads to damage in the contractile components called myofibrils. The discomfort you experience, which may peak around 48 hours later is believed to be caused by the following factors;

  • Increased Nerve Sensitivity; After your workout your body enters a repair phase. Chemical substances released during the response can make nerve endings more sensitive leading to heightened pain sensations as healing progresses over the couple of days.
  • Immune System Response; When muscles are damaged your immune system gets activated. White blood cells aid in the repair process by increasing blood flow to the area potentially resulting in perceived soreness after the initial day of recovery.
  • Delayed Inflammation; The combination of inflammation and fluid buildup, in muscle tissues tends to intensify in the days following exercise. Delayed swelling can worsen feelings of stiffness and discomfort which may reach their peak between 48 to 72 hours following exercise.
  • Adaptive Remodeling; Your body is actively working to repair and rebuild muscle tissue in response, to the strain it has experienced. The process of muscle adaptation is intricate. Takes time often causing discomfort as your tissues adjust.
  • Accumulating Factors; Within the 24 hours after exercising the body undergoes a combination of inflammation, mechanical muscle usage and progressive tissue repair. As this period passes, the main factors contributing to soreness gradually. Become more noticeable.

DOMS is a reaction to exertion that deviates from your routine and plays a role in the adaptation process that ultimately enhances stamina and strength as your muscles recover and grow. To alleviate DOMS symptoms it's beneficial to focus on recovery strategies, like engaging in recovery exercises consuming adequate protein and maintaining proper hydration. To enhance your understanding of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and how to effectively manage it you can refer to the resources;

Journal of Physiology DOMS Research

PubMed Exercise Induced Muscle Damage

It's important to remember that while DOMS is generally considered a response, to unfamiliar physical activity it's essential to distinguish this type of soreness from acute pain that could potentially indicate an injury. If you are uncertain about any discomfort or have concerns it's advisable to consult with a professional, for guidance.