D.O.M.S. is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

We will all get D.O.M.S or Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness

Put simply

As stated in the image above DOMS is the pain we feel after a hard session in the weights room or on the training track, generally felt within 48 hrs of the end any session.

When we look into muscle hypertrophy we explore the role and interaction of satellite cells, immune system reactions, and growth factor proteins.

Usually satellite cells are dormant, but they become activated when the muscle fiber receives any form of trauma, damage or injury, such as those from resistance training overload.

These satellite cells then multiply in response to the trauma, and the newer cells are drawn to the damaged muscle site. They then fuse to the existing muscle fiber, donating their nuclei to the fiber, which helps to regenerate the muscle fiber. (ability to assist recovery)

It is important to emphasize the point that this process is not creating more skeletal muscle fibers (in humans), but increasing the size and number of contractile proteins (actin and myosin) within the muscle fiber. This satellite cell activation and proliferation period lasts up to 48 hours after the trauma or shock from the resistance training session stimulus.

The amount of satellite cells present within in a muscle depends on the type of muscle.


Type 1 Slow Twitch

Type I or slow-twitch oxidative fibers, tend to have a five to six times greater satellite cell content than there fellow the Type 2

Type 2 (are the fast-twitch fibers), due to an increased blood and capillary supply.

This may be due to the fact that Type 1 muscle fibers are used with greatest frequency, and thus, more satellite cells may be required for ongoing minor injuries to muscle.

Note: When considering strength/weight training activities – the above statement should be taken into consideration. If a muscle has a greater number of Type 1 fibers , then it stands to reason that forcing that muscle to recruit a greater number of satellite cells by producing increasing levels of trauma – exercise/weight training –  it will in turn produce a greater level of growth.

As described earlier, resistance exercise causes trauma to skeletal muscle. The immune system responds with a complex sequence of immune reactions leading to inflammation as experienced in DOMS


(Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness)

The purpose of the inflammation response is to contain the damage, repair the damage, and clean up the injured area of waste products.

Suffice to state that the body has systems in place that respond to the damage to the cells and fibre’s created by weight training and it is the immune system that sets in sequence an number of events in response to the injury to the muscles.

These in turn are responsible for protein breakdown, removal of the damaged muscle cells, and an increased production of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that help to control the inflammation).


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