If your muscles feel sore after a session of physical therapy, it is likely you’re experiencing Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness (DOMS). According to Moveforward PT, muscular soreness peaks about 24 – 72 hours after physical activity. If you’re experiencing DOMS, your muscles may feel tender, tight, or even achy after exercising. As mentioned previously, these sensations should disappear within a few days of the activity. However, if you’re experiencing pain, you will likely feel a sharp sensation during or after the activity which will continue past the 72-hour mark. Try these following suggestions for relief from DOMS.
Tips for alleviating sore muscles:
1. Stay hydrated
- Water energizes your muscles, helps ease movement of your joints, and can speed up your recovery time.
2. Stretch lightly
- When exercising, your muscles are mainly contracting, which means the muscle fibers become shorter. Stretching can help lengthen them to alleviate that “tight” feeling.
3. Stay active and follow your in-home exercise plan
- Continue to stay active in order to increase your personal activity threshold and minimize DOMs in the future.
4. Apply ice
- Try icing the area for 20 minutes to help alleviate the inflammation which can reduce that feeling of soreness and aching.
5. Take notes to share with your physical therapist
- If you would like, you can take notes on location, longevity, and intensity of soreness. This feedback for your physical therapist could help guide future sessions.
Try these tips for relief if you are experiencing DOMS. Once again, your soreness should naturally begin to fade after 72 hours. However, if your pain continues to last beyond seven days, consult with a medical professional. If you have any questions following a session, you can easily contact your physical therapist in between sessions through our KeetHealth app, or by calling the clinic.