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Muscle fever is the official name for a very common (practically inevitable) ailment occurring for the few days following after intense physical labor/exercise for anyone not used to regular physical effort. After a good work-out, without regular training, you are guaranteed to have your muscles ache a lot on the next day and possibly some days following that.

My editor/proofreader wrote:

I had never heard of this until I looked it up. I think I can guarantee that your readers won't recognize it, either. Maybe you could explain this more?

I just don't believe there's no more common name for this. It's far too common a thing; everyone not on a daily training regimen will experience this after any intense work-out. What is its called commonly?

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    Do you mean Delayed onset muscle soreness? This is more of a medical question, though... – user3169 May 10 '15 at 22:04
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    Perhaps your editor has never been into any sports. I've gotten such soreness a few times myself (usually on the day after a heavy exercise, which seems likelier to happen on my first day coming back to the court after a long break). Muscle fever would be the word for me, so I'm curious to hear its alternatives too! – Damkerng T. May 10 '15 at 22:13
  • @user3169: Yes, that's what I mean, and that name sounds even more obscure. – SF. May 10 '15 at 22:13
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    I agree with your editor. I'm well aware of the soreness that follows an intense workout after a long period of laziness. But I've never once heard the term muscle fever and even having heard it would never guess that's what it meant. I just talk about being sore: I worked out yesterday for the first time since Christmas and man am I sore. – Jim May 10 '15 at 23:00
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    I don't think it's "official" in any sense. It's inaccurate and unlikely to be used by a doctor, and although everyone knows your muscles get sore after exercise, in my experience practically no one calls it by this name. Someone edited it into Wikipedia, that's all. (Maybe it's a dialect term?) – snailcar May 10 '15 at 23:37
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It is called 'muscle ache' or 'muscle soreness'.

But if you like the term 'muscle fever' why don't you just add a short explanation in a footnote or in brackets.

muscle fever (= muscle pain, often occurring after intense physical labor/exercise for anyone not used to regular physical effort)

or ask several people if they know the term. It could be a local distinction. Maybe in some areas muscle fever is the more common expression and in others it is not used at all.

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The 'official' term is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Most people would just say, 'sore muscles'. So, if you just want a common term that readers will understand without footnotes or explanations, I'd go for that. There is some evidence that 'muscle fever' was some sort of fashionable idiom some years back.

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I've never heard that term. I find it perplexing, as "fever" means an elevated temperature, and having experienced the phenomenon in question, it has never involved the sore tissue feeling hot. I would just use the term "soreness" myself, for the painful feeling in the days after such a workout.

It is during a workout that the muscles feel a burning sensation, referred to as "the burn", as in the expression "feel the burn". But that doesn't seem to be what you're referring to.

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    Fever got into 'muscle fever' probably due to the fact that both the fever and overworked muscles include some form of inflammation. – Lucky May 11 '15 at 2:35

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