Ask a Pt: How do I know the difference between bad pain and good soreness?

An increase in physical activity is often accompanied with muscle soreness, which is a natural part of adaptation to new stresses and becoming stronger. Often referred to as “delayed-onset muscle soreness,” or “DOMS,” soreness is a result of microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. These microscopic tears usually occur from force through the muscle as it is lengthening (an “eccentric contraction”). Our muscles have to break down in order to build back up stronger, and this process is accompanied with soreness. This is usually the worst 24-48 hours after activity and may last for a few days up to a week if the increase in activity was really significant.

Pain that is located within the joints, or pain that is sharp, and occurs during activity or directly afterwards may be indicative of injury. Pain of this nature that persists for 7-10 days should be addressed, and you should see a healthcare provider to determine the proper course of action.

An increase in physical activity is often accompanied with muscle soreness, which is a natural part of adaptation to new stresses and becoming stronger. Often referred to as “delayed-onset muscle soreness,” or “DOMS,” soreness is a result of microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. These microscopic tears usually occur from force through the muscle as it is lengthening (an “eccentric contraction”). Our muscles have to break down in order to build back up stronger, and this process is accompanied with soreness. This is usually the worst 24-48 hours after activity and may last for a few days up to a week if the increase in activity was really significant.

Pain that is located within the joints, or pain that is sharp, and occurs during activity or directly afterwards may be indicative of injury. Pain of this nature that persists for 7-10 days should be addressed, and you should see a healthcare provider to determine the proper course of action.

 

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