Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a bodybuilder’s worst enemy. Some bodybuilders call it a “silent killer” because it takes several days after your workout to release the full extent of its damage – water retention, pain, swollen joints, restricted range of motion and more. No doubt about it: DOMS sucks!
New research aimed to investigate the effects of physical treatments on DOMS onset. Study participants were divided into three random groups: a control group, a group receiving physical treatments before working out, and a group receiving physical treatments after working out.
The researchers found that pre- and post-exercise physical therapy partially prevents and treats DOMS respectively, by reducing the effects of reactive oxygen species produced by training.
So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: DOMS sucks, and while you can’t guarantee that it will never set in after a hard workout, you can tilt the odds in your favor by going for a pre-workout massage or by massaging your sore and tired muscles afterward. Not only will this help prevent and/or relieve DOMS, but it may also break up any tight muscle fascia, thereby opening up new areas for growth.
Source: Xiong Y, Wu YC, Jin HZ, Gu YH. [Randomized controlled trials on the influence and mechanism of manipulation on delayed onset muscle soreness after eccentric exercise][Article in Chinese]. Zhongguo Gu Shang. 2009 Sep;22(9):669-73.