Day 7 of my return to Brazilian JiuJitsu training, and it appears that the effect of DOMS lingers on. I suppose it will subside soon enough.

DOMS = Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Just fancy physiologist talk for that unrelenting muscle ache one gets approximately 48-72 hours post-exercise.

No one’s been able to pinpoint what exactly causes muscle soreness, but here are a few theories that have been popped around:

1) Microscopic tearing of muscle fibers at the cellular level, AKA, “microtears.”

2) Overproduction of prostaglandins as a result of lactic acid accumulation and tissue swelling.

3) Overheating of the muscle tissue (Type III and IV nerve endings – the kind that transmit DOMS pain – are sensitive to high temperatures, like the kind that occur during intense muscular contraction).

4) Acute spasm of musculature resulting in reduced blood flow and motor unit impairment AKA “trigger points.”

5) Some mysterious magical properties of the muscle rebuilding process.

So much for science, eh? Here are some decidedly unscientific ways to reduce muscle soreness:

1) Get a massage.

2) Get a hold of some OTC painkillers.

3) “Hair of the Dog” – perform the same task that caused you the DOMS in the first place.

4) Do yoga.

5) Ignore it.

My weapon of choice? Always – #3. It is almost always the “cure” I recommend to clients. However, on occasion, I do recommend to others and employ for myself solution #1 – since a terrain park with kickers to huck off of isn’t always readily available.

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