Delayed onset muscle soreness
) is the pain
and stiffness felt in muscles
several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise
The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise.
: 63 It is thought to be caused by eccentric
(lengthening) exercise, which causes small-scale damage (microtrauma
) to the muscle fibers
. After such exercise, the muscle adapts rapidly to prevent muscle damage, and thereby soreness, if the exercise is repeated.
Delayed onset muscle soreness is one symptom
of exercise-induced muscle damage. The other is acute muscle soreness
, which appears during and immediately after exercise.