The difference between muscle soreness and early signs of injury

When you begin a new exercise or training regime, it is normal to feel some level of soreness.

However, continuing to exercise or train with an injury can cause further or more serious damage.

So how do you tell the difference between what is just normal soreness and what could be an injury?

First of all, if you are not sure, seek advice from a health professional, just to be on the safe side.


Muscle pain that shows up one to two days after exercising can affect anyone, regardless of their fitness level.

Pain can range from mild to severe but decreases over time and only lasts about three to five days.

You can exercise with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), although it may feel uncomfortable, especially during the warm-up phase.

As the muscle recovers it will become stronger.

DOMS does not usually require any intervention.


If you are showing early signs of injury you should make an appointment so the physiotherapists can properly assess you and treat the injury to get your preparation back on track.

Early signs of injury include

  • acute, sudden and sharp pain – which could be muscle strains or sprains.
  • pain on one side only
  • pain is more localised to near a joint or along the line of the bone
  • discomfort that may disappear during warm-up but reappears at the end of activity (last more than 3-5 days)
  • discomfort that gets worse during the activity
  • pain or discomfort all the time.

To make an appointment with our physiotherapists or podiatrist, telephone 4331 1888.

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