Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

Case contributed by Domenico Nicoletti
Diagnosis certain


Intense pain in left forearm three days after intense weight-lifting.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Female

MRI left forearm

Axial DP weighted image with fat saturation and T2 sequences through the level of the mid forearm shows areas of edema involving the brachioradialis muscle.

Case Discussion

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is muscle pain or soreness that occurs after acute muscle overuse (e.g. weight-lifting or aerobic exercise). The soreness typically begins within 2 to 3 hours of the activity and peaks at 2 to 3 days although this is variable. The MR findings of DOMS show areas of increased T2 and DP with fat saturation signal within the involved musculature, occasionally mimicking a low-grade muscle strain. Abnormal signal has been shown to persist for up to 3 weeks after resolution of symptoms.

Radiographer: TSRM Fabio Imola.

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