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Effects of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness on Joint Kinematics

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Impact Proper Joint Movement and Mobility

Research has shown that delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) has various effects on the kinematics of running gait. These changes are thought to be the compensatory mechanism of the body to the reduced range of motion of the joints following DOMS. The available range of motion of the ankle, knee, and hip joints is essential for athletes to perform optimal training intensity, primarily to obtain optimal running gait. The average and maximum range of joint motion are necessary to prevent and reduce the risk of sports injury.

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Downhill running is an example of eccentric training activity which requires the contraction of elongated quadriceps muscles to maintain the stability of the knees. It has been shown that the maximum ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion during the support phase, maximum knee joint flexion in swing and support phases, and maximum hip flexion in touch down phase are reduced post-downhill running. The ability of the knee and hip joints to absorb shock is reduced, and the ankle needs to compensate this by increasing the range of dorsiflexion during the support phase. Abnormal stress will be placed on the ankle joint, and this will lead to an increased risk of injury at the ankle joint.
DOMS results in a shortening and tightness of the connective muscle tissue. This will lead to a reduced range of joint motion and joint stiffness. Swelling of the affected muscles or connective tissues is an acute inflammatory response to muscle damage or injury.
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