Delayed-onset muscle soreness is a form of pain and discomfort in the muscles that is not felt until hours or days after strenuous exercise. When someone says, "you are going to feel that in the morning," they are referring to delayed-onset muscle soreness. This type of muscle soreness generally lasts for one to three days.
Why Does Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness Occur?
It is believed that the muscle fibers suffer microscopic tears and this is what results in the soreness. Eccentric muscle contractions are also believed to play a role. These types of contractions occur when you are doing things such as running downhill or down a set of stairs.
Diagnosing Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness
Your symptoms are generally all that is needed for a diagnosis. If your symptoms do not go away after three days, your doctor may perform more tests to make sure that muscle soreness is the only thing that you have going on.
Preventing Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness
Muscle soreness can never be prevented entirely, but there are things that can be done to reduce how often you experience it, and to decrease how intense it gets. First and foremost, do not do too much too fast. It is very important to slowly progress to more intense and longer games and practices. All training changes - such as amount and type of exercise - should be done slowly and with guided intent.
Cooling down and warming up are more than something you learned in gym class. These are actually very necessary, especially for athletes. These allow the body to get into and out of exercise mode safely and gently.
If you are looking to try out new training moves or an entire new regimen, consider having a personal trainer help. He or she will make sure that you are using the proper form, and that you are progressing at the right rate.