Delayed onset muscle soreness

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Yuranga Weerakkody et al.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) refers to the muscular pain and swelling that follows unaccustomed exertion.

Patients may have an ache in affected muscles with reduced strength 4.

DOMS is thought to occur from reversible microstructural muscle injury that is followed by an inflammatory process and subsequent shifts of fluid and electrolytes. There is usually no permanent damage to muscle function.

  • serum CK levels are often elevated

Most commonly DOMS presents as 5:

  • diffuse, well-defined hyperechoic regions within muscle
  • increased muscle size
  • minimal hyperemia
  • T2/STIR: affected muscles are high signal and this may persist for months following resolution of symptoms 4

For MRI appearances consider:

Article information

rID: 29073
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

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Cases and figures

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