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Cheyenne WY Physical Therapist Explains Pain Versus Soreness

December 14, 2016

Soreness and pain can both be unpleasant, but it’s important to understand the difference so you know when the discomfort you’re feeling is something more serious than a minor ache. What’s the difference? When should you seek medical attention? Here’s what you need to know according to a physical therapist in Cheyenne WY:


Pain tends to be a sharp pain that you feel during movement or at rest. Depending on the injury, the pain you feel may be minor or severe to the point where it hurts to put pressure on the affected area. It could occur in a muscle, bone, or joint, depending on what type of injury you have sustained. Soreness, however, is usually not as extreme. Soreness is characterized by a burning or worn out sensation in the muscles, like the kind you feel after lifting weights or pushing yourself to the limit. Unlike pain, you tend to feel soreness only in the muscles.


Pain can usually be felt immediately following an injury. For example, you may suddenly have to stop a workout after experiencing a sharp pain from moving or twisting in the wrong direction. However, in some cases you may not experience any pain for about a day after the activity. However, soreness does not set in right away. In fact, you probably will not notice any soreness for 24-72 hours following the physical activity.


The discomfort you feel should go away in a few days if it’s truly soreness. This is more than enough time for your muscles to heal from the exercise or physical activity you did to cause the soreness. However, pain will not go away as easily if there is an injury present. If you don’t seek medical attention for ongoing pain, you may continue to experience it until it is properly treated. In fact, the pain could even get worse if you injure yourself further.


Soreness can usually be alleviated with light stretching and gentle exercise, however you should always stop if you feel the discomfort begin to worsen. These gentle movements are usually enough to relieve the tightness of the muscles and ease the discomfort you feel. Learn how to stretch to relieve sore muscles here. On the other hand, if you are experiencing pain, you should limit the amount of activity you do. Instead, put ice on the affected area and stay off of it as much as possible over the next few days.
If the pain remains or worsens, you may need to see a doctor or physical therapist. A physical therapist can identify the issue causing the pain and help you recover from it while also teaching you how to avoid further injuries in the future.
Contact North Platte Physical Therapy to learn more about aches and pains. Our staff is praised throughout the Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska areas for our commitment to our clients. We can fulfill comprehensive physical therapy services, and would be happy to customize a treatment plan that can help you enjoy all of your physical activities without injuring yourself