Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a gradually increasing discomfort of pain and stiffness perceived in the muscle after physical activity.
DOMS is usually experienced between 24 and 48 hours after physical activity. DOMS are part of an adaption process that leads to greater stamina and strength in the muscles, being the result of microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers. The amount and the severity of muscle tears are dependent on the degree of soreness. Eccentric movements (contracting of the muscle while it lengthens) are the most common cause of DOMS. Massage can be used to prevent and treat symptoms of DOMS.