How can I tell if my pain following exercise is injury or normal muscle soreness?
When beginning a new exercise routine or other physical activity, it is normal to experience Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). The key is in the “delayed” portion, typical muscle soreness after exercise occurs approximately 24 hours later and can last for several days. Injury during exercise is usually associated with a traumatic incident as well as pain, swelling and loss of movement rapidly following onset.
Another difference between DOMS and injury pain is that DOMS is soreness when the muscle is used, while new injuries can cause pain even at rest and more severe pain when the injured area is used. If you are still uncertain, time will tell the difference. DOMS will resolve over time and actually improves the more you exercise.
Injuries will take much longer to resolve and continued activity may aggravate the symptoms further. If you believe you have suffered an injury, consult your Summit physiotherapist, if you are experiencing DOMS try to think of it as forward progress!