All gym-goers have experienced some kind of soreness after a workout. This can range from minor discomfort to actual pain. It is a very common thing to feel fine the day after exercise but then feel sore and tight the day after that. This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS.
Truth is, nobody really knows why the body delays the soreness. It is caused from intense exercise or exercise you are not familiar with. Some theorize that DOMS is a minor type of rhabdomyolysis, a serious issue in which muscle breaks down and releases dangerous proteins into the blood. The average everyday gym goer is not going to experience this severe. However, we will experience soreness whether it’s a day to a couple days afterwards. It is interesting to note that even well-conditioned athletes will experience DOMS if they do something they aren’t accustomed to.
As stated before, we do not know exactly what causes DOMS. We can identify a couple things that accelerate and cause more soreness.
1. Long eccentric contractions or lengthening of the muscles.
2. Genetic variables can play a factor as different people experience pain differently.
3. Outside stresses such as dehydration and lack of sleep can make DOMS worse
In conclusion, while it has stumped many professionals, delayed onset muscle soreness is normal thing and is inevitable. Rest and other recovery methods will help to alleviate the pain.