Athletic injuries and rehabilitation. Zachazewski JE, Magee DJ, Quillen WS, eds. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders Company, 1996 Jan; :92-98
The cause, mechanism and treatment of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and muscle pain were considered in this chapter. Topics included the subjective experience of pain and soreness, muscle cramps, performance deficits after exercise induced injury, muscle soreness and muscle damage, location of the soreness, residual muscular swelling, inflammation, perception of pain, treatment, and prevention. Studies have indicated that performance deficits precede the onset of muscle soreness, and are due to a reduction in the intrinsic ability of the muscle to produce force. Myofiber damage and connective tissue damage have been seen in studies using muscle biopsy, and free radical production may also have a role. Treatment for DOMS with antiinflammatory drugs may actually have an adverse effect on muscle and skin healing. If swelling is a contributing factor then specific physical modalities that promote fluid movement through the lymphatic system away from the muscle may decrease soreness, although there is little documentation to this effect. No known prevention technique (other than regular exercise) or drug exists.
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