Can’t walk. Can’t sit. Can’t laugh.
When you’re working out and your working hard, it hurts. Everyone, from fitness novices to bodybuilders, knows this. But what if it’s not just muscle damage and regrowth? What if it’s a real injury? How can you tell the difference?
Soreness fades away, injury doesn’t
Our nutritionist Lovisa says that if the pain lasts beyond the usual three days, you should start to think twice about it. She’s not the only one who thinks so. Soreness takes place around 24-48 hours after a workout, it should be gone by day three, anything beyond that should be investigated.
Injuries tend to be joint- or ligament-based, soreness is usually in the muscles
Is the pain in your knees or your leg muscles? Does your wrist hurt, or is your arm sore?
Soreness requires more exercise, injuries require rest
Post-exercise soreness is muscle-based, so once you’re up and moving the pain decreases. This is why many fitness-enthusiasts use foam-rollers to gently massage the muscles and get them warmed up. If you’ve broken a bone or sprained a ligament, the last thing you should do is try to work it. It needs support and time to heal.
Soreness is usually felt, injuries can be seen
Is there any swelling or bruising around the area you feel pain? If not, you’re probably okay. If there is, then it might just be time to see your doctor.
Soreness is uncomfortable, injuries are well, painful
Muscle soreness tends to resemble a slight burn when you stretch, or a subtle ache or heaviness in your muscles, but it shouldn’t have you wincing. The sensations we feel from injuries tend to have us grimacing, or gritting our teeth, and tend to be sharper pains.
RELATED: Why You Should Embrace Pain
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