Are you in pain, or are you just sore? Do you know how to tell the difference?

pain or sorenessMuscle soreness is a common, healthy result of exercise. In a way, it can be welcomed, because it’s a reminder that your workout was productive. However, if what you’re feeling is pain, it could be an indicator of injury.

Any time you put stress on your body, you will experience some type of physical discomfort. It’s important to know if that discomfort is soreness or pain to prevent long-term injury.

Know Your Limits

Here’s the thing. To make physical improvements, you need to push your body to a level where gains can be made. This is called your ‘activity threshold’, and is dependent upon your age, baseline strength, and activity level. As you keep to a workout regimen, you will extend your threshold.

If you keep your activity within your activity threshold, your workout will result in muscle soreness. However, if you push yourself beyond your limit, you are sure to experience pain.

What’s the Difference?

Pay attention to these differences to help determine if you’re experiencing soreness or pain.

Pain-vs-soreness-chart

Avoid pain by setting realistic workout goals by working within your activity threshold. If you miss a day, don’t feel you have to fit in two days’ worth of activity, as that could push you beyond your threshold.

Can Physical Therapy Help?

2C9A7677Before you begin a workout regimen, a physical therapist can help you determine your readiness for exercise and recommend specific exercises based upon your needs, abilities, and goals. They will also help you put together a plan that allows you to increase difficulty at an appropriate pace to help you avoid injury.

Should you become injured while exercising, a physical therapist can assist you in recovery with:

  • Initial pain management
  • Identify and address injury-related factors
  • Ways to prevent additional problems
  • Recommendations for reintegrating exercise back into your life

Our skilled, professional staff is ready to help you put together a workout regimen that’s right for your needs, and that will help you meet your goals. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.