I remember the 2017 NBA Finals when the Golden State Warriors finished against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving was still at Cavaliers at that time and he surely had a night not to forget. On a quick glimpse at broadcast TV, Kyrie was bending over, while his therapist used a device to massage him – the device was blue and looked like an egg beater, wireless. I observed and made a conclusion that he strained or pulled a muscle from his lower back.
You see, my dad had one back when I was 9. He made me use it on his shoulders. That device was huge, and when plugged in infrared lighting would produce extra heat. This device is still working 20 years later. That’s one heck of a long time. Dad uses it after a long day at the office–and still uses it today!
The vibration massage device – Theragun and Hypervolt became viral! From NBA to NFL, from NFL to Social Media, and from Social Media to everyone who’s watching. More people became aware of such a device. They started to make better, cooler, and more affordable products. Is it the same tho? There are plenty of brands available on our E-Commerce sites – different price range, same function. Which one is better? Which one to choose? What is it used for anyway? Is it beneficial for DOMS?
DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is a pain and/or stiffness in muscles after strenuous exercise, which usually peaks at 24 to 48 hours of exercise and subsides within 96 hours. Exercises that induce DOMS are related to muscle lengthening (eccentric motion), such as lowering a dumbbell on a biceps curl; on the contrary to the concentric exercises such as doing biceps curl. If the pain or strain lasts for more than 5 days, it could indicate muscle damage. Moreover, not everyone feels the same on this—meaning the signs and symptoms may vary due to physical differences. Research showed about 33% individuals do not experience it after heavy lengthening-based lifting exercises.
Most common misconception in DOMS is a result solely due to lactic acid (LDH) accumulation. My good ol’ gym teacher, Mr. Rizky (shout out to my Pangudi Luhur homies) once said to my 15 year old self, “ey! go stretch, you got too much lactic acid in your legs!”. He shushed me after nagging about my sore legs the day after my lousy gym class; and yes, I blamed him for giving such a difficult regime. The dude was not completely wrong. You see, not only LDH accumulation that builds DOMS–muscle spasm and mechanical muscle damage plays a supporting role as well. Whenever we exercise, we create microdamage to our musculoskeletal system for a good cause. Those damage(s) will make it stronger, bigger, and durable in one way or another.
The second misconception is when we have soreness after (or during) an exercise means we had a good sesh. At the gym, I often heard a guy screams at his personal trainer while doing a biceps curl like, “Oh, increase the weight, boy—I don’t feel it”, then he went, “yeah, yeah—it’s burning, alright!”, while repetitively doing his curls until failure. Unfortunately for this chap, he felt good to be sore. I get it…endorphin release during workout does increase the pain threshold—but come on, 40KG on one arm is just too much (or am I a wimp? sad). The next day, DOMS may pop your day and whispers, “yeah, yeah–must be nice to be you today”.
So how to manage this?
So this is where we come back to “the device”. It’s one of many tools that can be used to relieve DOMS. Another way to relieve DOMS is stretching, which is possibly the simplest step. You’d Google: How to stretch biceps muscle on the search engine and 0.63 seconds later it shows up! (Yes, Google is another amazing device). However, stretches alone may not help resolve DOMS! Next possible solution: you’d go for Sport Massage–hella’ painful.
In conclusion, vibrational massage and normal massage has the same result in preventing DOMS.
So when is the best time to get treatments for DOMS? In between sessions would be the best choice. Prevention is the best action. Make time for stretching and giving a nice massage or use some massage devices. Continue doing so for the next 24-48 hours. Lastly, tell yourself everything is gonna be okay, I’m gonna be stronger and better. Self talk is crucial, people!