Muscle Soreness Vs. Injury: What’s the Difference?

african american man holding kneePain is a part of exercise. While some pain may be expected and shouldn’t send you running to the doctor, it’s important to recognize the signs of serious injuries so that you don’t cause permanent damage. While you’re sweating it out, pay attention to your body for signs of “good” pain and “bad” pain.

The Good Pain: Muscle Soreness

Most exercise will cause some muscle soreness, especially if you’re strength training. That soreness is actually your body breaking down and rebuilding your muscle tissue to create stronger muscles. You will most likely feel some discomfort for about one to three days after your workout.

For some, it can also be a sign of whether or not you’ve pushed hard enough in the gym. If you’re trying to build your glutes and you don’t feel any pain a day or two after the workout, you might resolve to push harder the next time to get the results you want. If you have healthy muscle soreness, you’ll probably notice these:

  • Achy muscles right after a workout or towards the end of the workout
  • Pain that improves with stretching
  • Soreness or stiffness that increases when sitting still
  • Pain that subsides after three days or less
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