Why do I feel great after a long run, but often feel much worse the next day?
Jun 15, 2013
By Dr. Josh Bross
There are many reasons why you feel worse the day after a long run and those vary from improper post run recovery, running too much too soon, and type of terrain you are training on. Mostly likely what you are experiencing is something called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS for short. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness describes a process of muscle soreness, stiffness and fatigue that generally felt 8-48 hours after activity and generally subsides. DOMS results from microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers during activity in which the body produces symptoms of pain, decreased range of motion, swelling and decreased muscle force generation. The body then helps repair the damaged muscle tissue in order to return to a state of normal. DOMS is a normal part of eccentric exercise in that in order to become bigger, faster and stronger the tissue needs to break down so that the body can repair it so then the next time you engage in the activity you will be able to handle a greater load. Research shows that there is no one simple approach to helping treat DOMS but I have found the following approaches helpful in athletes recovering faster: gentle lymphatic massage to help flush tissues, Active Release Technique (our chiropractic office in Columbia, MD, is one of the only offices in the MD/DC area to be certified), ice bath, active recovery as in swimming or other activity that helps blood flow, stretching and warm-up before activity and proper recovery cool-down. If you are constantly running into the problem of DOMS it may be time to hire a coach to evaluate your training program/protocols and if pain persists for more than a week with no relief from recovery techniques then it is time to give us a call, or head over to our chiropractic office in Columbia, MD.