Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Adverse Effects of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness on Athletic Performance


Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is commonly seen in athletes after unaccustomed physical activities or when first return to activity after a period of reduced activity. The symptoms of DOMS can range from mild muscle soreness to severe pain. If the athlete decided to continue the activity without proper treatment to alleviate the discomfort or pain, DOMS may have significant effects on the performance. In some serious cases, DOMS may cause secondary injuries in athletes.

Eccentric activity which involves the elongation of the muscles during the performance is more likely to cause DOMS. Eccentric activity may change the muscle function and joint mechanics due to muscle and connective tissue damages during the activity. As a result of the muscle soreness, the compensatory mechanism for muscle soreness and muscular and connective tissue damages, a less than optimal training performance may be noted.

DOMS may lead to anatomical, physiological or psychological impairment in athletes. A decreased range of joint motion, decreased strength or muscle power and abnormal muscle recruitment patterns are the possible adverse outcome of DOMS. Research showed that muscle soreness from DOMS may impair the neuromuscular function. A reduction in joint proprioception and decreased precision of force production is observed in athletes after eccentric activity. This may pose the athlete at a higher risk of secondary injury.

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