It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or an olympian; DOMS is something everybody goes through. The real question is, How Long Does DOMS Last? How long will it take for DOMS to go away? When will we be relieved of our pain?
It takes around 3-5 days for DOMS to go away. The initial 2-3 days are the ones in which you will feel high pain or soreness in your DOMS journey.
Let’s look into this in detail.
Table of Contents
What Is DOMS
DOMS is a short form for delayed onset muscle soreness. Soreness is a common scenario faced by gym-goers whenever they try a new workout they haven’t done before or the beginners who just started building their muscles.
A person going through DOMS experiences muscle aches and soreness in the muscles he engaged in the day before. This is because many muscle fibers are ruptured for the first time, which causes pain in those muscles.
You will feel inflammation, and there might be some swelling and variations in electrolyte levels. This is all due to the muscle damage you incurred during your workout sessions.
Does Everyone Get DOMS?
Yes, anyone can get DOMS. No matter how good an athlete you are or for how long you have been doing bodybuilding, you will certainly feel DOMS if you try hitting a new muscle or a new workout.
You will even find Olympians facing this pain and soreness when they return to their training after a good break.
Again, if you are a beginner, you will feel DOMS as an unending pain, but believe me that I have been there, and it won’t last longer than two weeks initially. It’s just your body adapting itself to new, strength-building needs.
It will be all well once you get into a regular muscle-building or strength-training routine.
How Does DOMS Feel?
We have all been there, right? We come back home from a good workout session and feel the pump in the muscles we engaged. It’s just after a good sleep or 7-8 hours post-workout that we begin to experience some pain, some aches, and soreness.
After a full 24 hour day post the workout, we feel this pain increasing as we do hit other muscles in the gym. The pain skyrockets after 48 hours, and that’s when it gets unbearable.
Keep in mind that you will feel this pain or soreness after 6-8 hours post your workout. If you feel acute pain immediately after your workout, be cautious as it can be a sign of injury. It could also be a sign of overtraining.
How Long Does DOMS Last?
According to the NHS, a person experiences DOMS for about 3 to 5 days or 72 hours. The pain and soreness are at their peak in the initial 2-3 days, and it gets better after that. Your muscles start to loosen up, and you feel relieved soon after.
Delayed onset muscle soreness, also called DOMS, is a condition where a muscle has been so thoroughly worked that it is sore afterward. This condition typically takes a couple of days to develop, with the muscle soreness getting worse as the days go on.
The soreness typically resolves after a few days depending on the severity of the condition.
The idea for this condition came in 1902 in London in a journal about a rescue mission. When a six-man crew was out in the ocean for ten hours in a row, they found that they were very sore and stiff when they got back to their station.
While DOMS is not life-threatening and does not pose any health risks, it can be quite uncomfortable and last up to two weeks.
There are a few ways to help alleviate the pain and stiffness of DOMS, such as rest, ice, stretching, massage, or simply taking some time off. The less you work out your sore muscles, the quicker they will heal.
How Long Does DOMS Last In Different Body Parts
The amount of soreness felt after exercising is proportional to the intensity and duration of the workout and the age and skill level of the individual. The most common muscle groups to experience DOMS due to exercise are those in the legs and quads area.
Different body parts may have soreness for different lengths of time, but on average, most people experience mild soreness from two to three days. This is more noticeable for heavy, intense workouts on a new muscle group.
Celebrity trainer David Kirsch is on the side of delayed onset muscle soreness lasting a week. He says that it’s because of the extensive muscle damage caused by the initial workout session.
How long does DOMS last in different body parts:
DOMS doesn’t vary much in body parts. It isn’t like DOMS will stay longer in the chest and might not be there in abs. Everybody part gets affected the same way.
This is so because DOMS depends on the muscle fibers, which are the same throughout the body. The only difference which can be there would be of workout intensity of that particular body part.
For example, suppose you have significantly performed more sets and repetitions in Chest workouts than Arms. In that case, there are high chances that your chest muscle fibers would have been broken more badly, and you will experience pain. It might even stay for longer periods than Arms.
How Long Does It Take For DOMS To Go Away
Well, DOMS isn’t a permanent thing. It will go away soon within 3-5 days. In this period, when you are going through this pain, your aim should be to have a nutrient-rich diet to help your muscles recover faster.
In this recovery time frame, your muscle fibers will heal naturally and pump out any extra fluid present in your muscle areas. It will help decrease the soreness and inflammation that you feel.
You will feel your muscles be much stronger once the DOMS period is over.
Can DOMS Last Over A Week?
DOMS can last for a week or more but usually lasts for around four days for most people.
Muscle soreness caused by exercise is usually felt in the 24-72 hours following the exercise. The soreness is generally experienced in the exercised muscle group. The soreness can be mild to severe but usually goes away 72 hours after exercise.
To get rid of DOMS, you should massage the sore areas, use cold packs over them, do some stretching exercises, and eat a healthy diet.
You can also take anti-inflammatory medicines, apply heat packs, and have a hot bath to relax your muscle groups.
Will I Always Get DOMS After Every Session?
The answer to this question is most likely no, and there are a few possible reasons why you might be sore after every workout session. Persistent soreness in any part of the body could be a sign of injury, and you should see a doctor rule this out.
However, there is also a chance that you may be overtraining by working out too much and not allowing your muscles to recover. If you add more rest days to your weekly workout schedule, the chances are that the soreness will stop.
Should I Workout With DOMS?
If you’re new to working out, you’ve likely been told that you need to work out with DOMS. There are two sides to this story.
Some people recommend taking a day off from the gym because of the pain and inflammation from DOMS. But others say it’s a sign that your muscles are growing and that you should push through it.
Still, others say that the rest will only make the soreness worse. There is no need to exercise with a heavyweight when you have muscles still recovering from muscle atrophy.
So, the final answer to the question How Long Does DOMS Last? is that DOMS last for about 24-48 hours after the workout. After 48-72 hours, the muscles start to loosen up, getting better after that.
You can always have a high-nutrient diet and hot spa to help with your muscle soreness.