When working out, what is the difference between soreness and pain?

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Soreness from exercise typically shows up 24-48 hours after training and only lasts a few days diminishing over time. Pain due to injury usually occurs instantly is usually a sharp pain or a dull aching pain that doesn’t decrease with time or does not subside with stretching and movement. If at any time while exercising you experience a sharp pain, bruising, heat, swelling, or after a workout, a dull aching pain that doesn’t fade after a few days immediately consult a physician to determine if an injury has occurred. If you experience slight discomfort with movement a day or two after lifting that soon fades that is soreness.

When working out you will experience Delay Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), usually felt 12-48 hours after exercise.  This usually happens when your body begins a new exercise routine that your body is not familiar with.  This will go away after a few days.

Pain is something you do not want to ignore.  It is your body telling you something is wrong.  If you do ignore it, it may lead to more serious injuries in the future.

There is a big difference between pain and soreness. Soreness is part of the workout equation and will subside. Pain is your body's way of telling you to take a break. Unless you get paid to play a sport, I do not suggest working through the pain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.