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Dehydration, pain and DOMS- the link

Updated: Jan 19, 2023


Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is muscle damage consisting of muscle pain and other symptoms experienced usually 24-48 hours after new or intense exercise.

These symptoms include dull, diffused pain and tenderness, stiffness, swelling and decreased strength of the exercised muscle and can last 1-4 days.

The magnitude of DOMs depends on exercise intensity and duration, as well as the physiologic condition of the individual.

Studies show that normal skeletal muscle is affected by altered physiological states such as dehydration.

Exercise performance decreases due to a reduction in blood pressure and as less blood is available for perfusion of active skeletal muscle. Sweating is maintained by intracellular water shifting to the extracellular space, resulting in cell dehydration, adversely affecting skeletal muscle cell function.

Eccentric exercise performed when an individual is dehydrated may exacerbate the skeletal muscle damage as a result of reduced intracellular water. This may also cause structural, contractile and enzymatic protein denaturation.

Dehydration negatively affects muscle performance by impeding thermal regulation, altering water movement across cell membranes and interfering with actin-myosin (protein filaments) cross bridge formation.

Dehydration are therefore likely to cause increased tissues state changes such as muscle hypertonicity- tightness in muscles and dehydrated discs, joints etc. Increased stiffness in tissues is more likely to cause pain and flare ups so keeping hydrated may help to keep pain, flare ups and muscle spasms at bay.

Stay hydrated and cool everyone!💦

There you have it folks. I hope that was helpful!

Stay happy and healthy 😊.

Osteopaths are healthcare professionals and therefore our role is to promote health and wellbeing. If you have any further questions or would like to know if or how seeing an Osteopath could help you, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

📞: 07903850720

Krish 🧡💙xo

Registered Osteopath & Fitness coach

Sports massage practitioner

My OsteoPATH to Wellness

Berrylands, Surbiton, Kingston



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