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How long should my muscles hurt after exercise?

Some muscle soreness after exercise is common & completely normal, especially if your exercise was intense or something new for you. 

This after exercise muscle soreness in called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. This temporary muscle soreness is because intense exercise causes small amounts of damage to the muscle, which actually encourages new muscle development.

Your soreness should only last 24 to 48 hours after resting from exercise. On occasion, it can even last up to 72 hours after exercise if you were trying something new.

If your muscles are hurting longer than this after your exercise, your pain may be due to something other than DOMS and you should seek guidance from a physiotherapist.

So, because I exercise I have to be sore for 1 to 2 days afterwards?

No, not at all! There is evidence that there are several strategies you can use to improve and even resolve your post exercise soreness. 

  1. Perform a light intensity warm up before your exercise targeting all the major muscle groups you are going to use.
  2. Correctly stretch those same major muscle groups while cooling down from your exercise.
  3. Maintain steady increases/ decreases in your training loads
  4. Consider supportive devices like compression garments & correctly fitted trainers.
  5. Have your biomechanics checked – Do you have adequate muscle flexibility, strength & coordination so that you are moving in a “good pattern”.

Our physiotherapists Kath, Tim & Dean are highly skilled to best advise you on how to manage your soreness. You can expect to:

  • Be taught an appropriate warm up & stretching for your exercise 
  • Assess & recommend appropriate supportive devices & footwear 
  • Undergo a thorough assessment to better guide your strength & flexibility cross training to improve your biomechanics.
If you think you could benefit from our expert service call Wellers Hill on 3892 7501 and Woolloongabba on 3391 3331 for advice & appointments.