DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is Neural Microdamage Rather Than Muscle Damage

Pyrrhus

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And here's the abstract:

Have We Looked in the Wrong Direction for More Than 100 Years? Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Is, in Fact, Neural Microdamage Rather Than Muscle Damage (Sonkodi et al., 2020)
Sonkodi et al. 2020 said:
According to our hypothesis, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is an acute compression axonopathy of the nerve endings in the muscle spindle. It is caused by the superposition of compression when repetitive eccentric contractions are executed under cognitive demand. The acute compression axonopathy could coincide with microinjury of the surrounding tissues and is enhanced by immune-mediated inflammation.

DOMS is masked by sympathetic nervous system activity at initiation, but once it subsides, a safety mode comes into play to prevent further injury. DOMS becomes manifest when the microinjured non-nociceptive sensory fibers of the muscle spindle stop inhibiting the effects of the microinjured, hyperexcited nociceptive sensory fibers, therefore providing the ‘open gate’ in the dorsal horn to hyperalgesia. Reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide play a cross-talking role in the parallel, interlinked degeneration–regeneration mechanisms of these injured tissues.

We propose that the mitochondrial electron transport chain generated free radical involvement in the acute compression axonopathy. ‘Closed gate exercises’ could be of nonpharmacological therapeutic importance, because they reduce neuropathic pain in addition to having an anti-inflammatory effect. Finally, DOMS could have an important ontogenetical role by not just enhancing ability to escape danger to survive in the wild, but also triggering muscle growth.
 

Pyrrhus

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And here's Wikipedia:

Wikipedia said:
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) 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.[1][2]: 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.[1][2]: 76 

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.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_onset_muscle_soreness