What is the difference between pain and muscle soreness? When would I know I need Physio?

This was a question asked by one of the members of 6 pack bootcamp, where we recently had a seminar. She had been training hard and wanted to know how to differentiate between the muscle soreness she would feel after heavy training sessions vs if she had injured herself. Well, sounds like there is a fine line isn’t it? Here’s my opinion on it.

If you do a complex exercise like a squat or deadlift and you feel immediate pain, you must stop immediately! PAIN means that your body is injured. It is the protective mechanism of your body to protect it from further injury. However, muscle soreness is always felt AFTER  a workout, not DURING! Have you heard of DOMS? Or delayed onset muscle soreness.

Delayed onset muscle soreness

This is a result of lifting weights. The muscle fibres undergo changes when we lift weights and this causes the muscles to swell up slightly. It usually occurs after the workout and your muscle may feel stiff or even sore on doing certain movements. However, this doesn’t last longer than 1-2 days. If the soreness continues after 3 days and is not reducing , it certainly means that you may have damaged your muscle. Again, you would have felt pain during the exercise when you were trying to lift heavy weights. Remember muscle soreness is felt AFTER the exercise , NOT DURING. If this is the case, you will definitely need to see a Physio immediately so you can be treated. Needless to say that the longer you leave an injury the harder it gets to recover from it.