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Why Muscles are Sore After Workouts

Many times, you can finish a workout and feel great, but the next day your body starts to ache. Your muscles feel sore because they are damaged and need time to recover; this is called DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness.

DOMS starts between 8 and 24 hours after a workout. It happens most often to those who do not exercise on a regular basis or who have just resumed activity after a long term of inactivity.  It used to be thought that the cause was buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, but it is now known that lactic acid does not remain in your muscle tissues for very long after an exercise session.

According to Steady Healthy, possible theories for the cause of DOMS include:

  • Muscle soreness occurs because of microscopic tears in muscle fibers
  • It is caused due to tears in the tissue that connects the muscle not the muscle itself
  • The damaged muscles release chemical irritants, which irritate pain receptors
  • The damaged muscles become inflamed hence causing soreness
  • Changes in osmotic pressure, muscle spasms and a change in the way the muscle cells regulate calcium may be responsible for the soreness
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