© Die PTA in der Apotheke

English for PTA


DOMS is the official term for what is widely called muscle tenderness, soreness or stiffness. The theory that the soreness is caused by a build-up of lactic acid in the blood after exercise has largely been rejected.

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The most common cause is micro-trauma to the muscle fibres, which can be felt between 24 and 48 hours after exercising. It’s good to know that not only exercise newbies can get DOMS, even professionals experience muscle soreness from time to time. It’s also good to know that there is nothing serious about this stiff and sore feeling one or two days after the fact! Any type of new, or strenuous exercise can cause DOMS and resting the affected muscle is not the answer. Most muscle stiffness is caused by overextension of a muscle during jogging or while working out. Muscle pain is only serious if felt directly on completing a certain movement. A doctor should be consulted in such cases as the pain is an indicator for major injury to either muscles, tendons or ligaments in a joint.

Pharmacy customer: Hello, do you speak English?
PTA: Hello. Yes, I do, a little.

I’m afraid I overdid it yesterday while jogging. And now I’m paying the price: I’m as stiff as a board!
Oh, I know the feeling, using the last fine days to get out and do some exercise in the fresh air. We get quite a lot of customers with the same problem at this time of year!

You are right there! Although I am a member in the local gym, I love being able to get out and about if possible. So, what do you recommend? Painkillers?
No, I wouldn’t really recommend painkillers. If you need painkillers, then you have probably done more damage than just causing muscle tenderness. Could you please tell me exactly where and what type of pain it is?

Yes, it’s mostly around my calf muscles and it hurts when I walk down the stairs.
Do you have tenderness anywhere else?

Now that you say it, yes I do. My upper arm is really stiff as well. I have no idea why.
Okay, I can recommend these two products. The first one is a warming balm that you can apply morning and evening to the affected calf muscles and we have this relatively new product here for your upper arm. It’s a warming plaster that emits warmth for up to eight hours. This is a pack of four.

A pack of four!
You can also use them on other parts of the body such as the neck or lower back and also between the shoulders. I have used them myself and find them very effective.

Anything else that you can recommend?
Do you have a bathtub at home?

Yes, I do.
You might consider taking a nice long bath. We have this lovely bath additive that contains comphrey, arnica and rosemary oil.

I’ll do everything to get rid of this stiffness! Thank you for your help.
You are welcome. You’ll be feeling fine this time tomorrow! Goodbye!

Bye, bye!

Delayed onset muscle soreness      Muskelkater tenderness                                    Schmerzempfindlichkeit
lactic acid                                     Milchsäure
fibres                                            Fasern
newbies                                        Anfänger
strenuous                                     anstrengend, strapaziös
over-extension                             Überstreckung
injury                                          Verletzung
tendons                                        Sehnen
ligaments                                      Bänder
joint                                             Gelenk
gym                                              Fitnessstudio
painkillers                                    Schmerzmittel
calf muscles                                 Wadenmuskeln
balm                                             Balsam, Salbe
emits warmth                               gibt Wärme ab
comphrey                                     Beinwell

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 10/16 ab Seite 84.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker