Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), also known as “muscle fever,” is the pain experienced in muscles hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise/activity. The soreness is usually strongest 24 to 72 hours after the exercise/activity. DOMS is caused by microtrauma to the muscles, NOT a buildup of lactic acid in the body as was once commonly believed. Soreness will usually disappear within 72 hours following onset of pain with or without treatment. If treatment is needed, light-activity, massage and/or heat therapy can lessen symptoms. The best way to prevent DOMS is to gradually increase the level of intensity of the exercise/activity that you are performing.

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