How Massage Can Reduce the Effects of DOMS

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the muscle soreness and stiffness that you experience after strenuous and unaccustomed exercise or physical activity.  As an example, DOMS may occur as a result of overdoing it in your first gym session in a long time or perhaps going for a much longer run than usual. DOMS could also result from a day spent gardening or even from the physical demands of moving house.  Regardless of the cause, you may feel the start of the effects of DOMS within 24 hours after the activity and it may typically last up to 72 hours without treatment. DOMS may temporarily stop you playing or training in your regular sporting activities and can even disrupt your work or day to day routines.

The good news is that massage can provide pain relief as well as reduce the duration of DOMS, thereby helping you get back to normal activities much sooner.

Benefits of Massage

Massage assists in reducing the effect of DOMS in many ways, including:


  • relaxed muscle tone
  • improved recovery circulation
  • restore your flexibility
  • reduced stiffness and soreness
  • decreased fatigue
  • rapid recovery
  • prompt return to training
Young woman getting neck massage

Research Supports Massage in Treating DOMS

The benefits of massage in treating DOMS has been well documented with both professional and amateur sporting organisations around the world recognising the many advantages. They recognise massage is an essential aid in helping speed up the recovery process for DOMS in  athletes. For example, a recent  evidence based study by the Faculty of Sports Sciences at the University of Poitiers, France, compared a number of methods/techniques commonly used to recover from DOMS, perceived fatigue, muscle damage and inflammatory markers. The methods included massage, compression garments, cold water immersion, contrast immersion (alternate Hot and Cold water), active recovery (low intensity exercise) Cryotherapy and stretching/electro stimulation. The study concluded massage is the best way to reduce the effects of DOMS and perceived fatigue and equally effective in reducing inflammation/muscle damage with exposure to cold techniques.

Book a Massage in Cheltenham

Do you suffer the effects of DOMS? Whether its from exercise at the gym, sporting activities or even gardening – for rapid recovery, book a session with Remedial Massage Therapist Peter Mitchell at Healthy Bodies Physiotherapy today. Peter has extensive experience helping elite and amateur athletes with DOMS including working with the Western Bulldogs AFL football club. Book Online or call 9584 6919.