Good Pain vs. Bad Pain: When do you need attention?

September 18th, 2018 Posted by Blog 0 thoughts on “Good Pain vs. Bad Pain: When do you need attention?”

What is “good pain”?

I know it sounds hard to believe but there actually is a good pain.

It is called DOMS, or delayed-onset muscle soreness. This is your body’s positive response to exercise that makes you grow stronger. If you exercise your arms and, a day or two later, the area of your arms you worked is tight and tender to touch, you are experienced DOMS.

DOMS can peak at 1–2 days after a challenging exercise. The challenge can come in the form of doing an exercise you have never done before, or increasing resistance for an exercise that you have done before.

What is “bad pain”?

Bad pain is pain that we want to pay attention to. It is your body’s negative response to a weight that was too much load, too quickly or it was a light-weight/load but for too long a period of time.

How can you tell if you need to seek a physical therapist?

  1. Did you have poor-technique with an exercise or even when you did something around the house requiring force? Did that result in a pain that lasted longer than two-three days (beyond the DOMS-window)?
  2. Does your pain interfere with your everyday activity? Things such as bathing, meal-prep, walking, stairs, etc. These are all things that shouldn’t be severely impacted for days.
  3. Does the pain have a very localized point? Generally, “good pain” is in a wide-spread area around muscles that were trained.

If you answered “yes” to the above, it is advisable to seek out a physical therapist near your to help determine the nature of your pain, give you tips on better ways to move as well as help you recover in a safe and efficient way.


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The above is not a substitute for medical advice and does not take place for seeking a healthcare provider.

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