Physiological Background of Muscular Pain During Skiing and Delayed Muscle Soreness after Skiing

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Andrzej T. Klimek

During intensive skiing, at each turn, in particular towards the end of the turning steering phase, eccentric work of the lower limb muscles occurs (predominantly of the quadriceps femoris), which is the direct cause of dam-age within muscle cells. A few or more than ten hours after intensive physical effort the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness may appear, which is mainly a result of the micro-damage within the myocytes. The following procedure can be proposed for prevention of muscle soreness for skiers: around a week before first day of skiing in the season, skiers should perform a series of intensive physical exercises involving eccentric contrac-tions, thus inducing delayed muscular soreness. The exercises may involve for example: downhill running, prefera-bly down a steep slope, running down stairs, deep knee bend jumps, deep knee bend jumps over an obstacle, jumping to the ground from a certain height, sit-ups on one or both feet, etc. The exercises should lead considerable local fa-tigue, in particular of the lower limb muscles, so that muscle soreness occurs on the second day, in particular in the frontal part of the thighs. After approximately two days the pain will alleviate, while after a week the strength of the muscles will return to its pre-exercise condition. This should considerably reduce, or even remove, delayed muscle soreness after skiing, which will not only help skiers use their time more effectively but will also be crucial to the ski-ers’ safety
DOI 10.2478/v10078-010-0007-4
Key words
DOMS, eccentric contractions, exercise physiology, skiing, pain prevention

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