Muscle Soreness – Timing and Indicators

Muscle soreness can occur immediately after a workout…

(especially if you are unaccustomed to exercise) and persist for several hours, or in the case of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), may appear from 24 to 72 hours later and last up to 2 weeks, depending on its severity. Symptoms range from strength loss, pain and muscle soreness to muscle tenderness, stiffness and swelling. Generally, full recovery takes 5 or more days.

In most cases the only way you will know you have DOMS is by experiencing the pain and discomfort. But from a scientific standpoint, the muscle damage that causes the pain can be identified within 42 hours after exercise by measuring four muscle cell damage markers: creatine kinase, myoglobin, aspartate aminotransferase and malondialdehyde. An elevation in these four substances indicates that temporary muscle cell damage has occurred. Remember, the body’s automatic repair of this “damage” is how you build muscle strength.

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