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01 Sep 2011

Hi Doc

I have just started exercising (for less than a week) for the first time in about 12 years I am 30 now, and my thigh muscles are so sore for the past 3/4 days, I cannot sit or get up without holding onto somethinge ven when i walk its so sore. It feels as if my thighs are swollen, is this normal.
Answer 246 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi there

It's normal, don't worry. It's not pleasant, but it is normal. That feeling of pain, stiffness or discomfort in muscles that occurs a day or so after a work out is known in the scientific community as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Because nobody wants to go around saying that mouthful, most usually just call it "DOMS" for short.

Basically, DOMS is caused by very tiny, microscopic tears in the muscle, as a result of doing exercise that your muscles are unaccustomed to. So any time you take up a new sport, or try a new activity, you can expect to feel some pain. So that’s the good news – well, it’s good news in that what you feel is nothing unusual, it’s actually expected.

It doesn’t of course help right now and the only thing that will help that is some rest and a bit of control around how you train. Remember, the cause is training beyond what your muscle can handle and so the solution is to build the programme gradually rather than to jump in at a high level. For example, if you are doing weight training and lifting weights, then you need to reduce the weight you are lifting, maybe for a week or two and then the pain will subside and eventually go away. If you are running, then perhaps slow it down, or mix some walking in with your running. This is not a permanent thing – your muscles will adapt pretty soon and then you’ll train without any pain, and wonder what all the fuss was about! But until then, just back off the training intensity – the pain is just a sign that you’re over your limit, that’s all.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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