How should you interpret pain after exercise? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Let’s say you begin a new sport, and the next day you wake up a bit sore. Edward McFarland, director of shoulder surgery at Johns Hopkins, says that’s most likely good pain.

McFarland: Good pain is the burn you get in your muscles when you do an activity and you feel invigorated, you really got something accomplished. The bad pain though is pain that you have at rest after exercise, so if it hurts for two days that's kind of a problem. Pain that starts waking you up at night also probably not a good thing, pain that gets worse despite rest. So say you run and or lift weights with your arms and you have some soreness. That should go away within a day or so but if it lasts for months or obviously there's probably something going on.    :28

McFarland says our ability to recover after exercise, especially a sport we’re new at, will vary with lots of factors, including overall fitness, age, sleep and even diet. He says even very fit people will experience soreness and pain when they attempt a new activity, since different muscles are being utilized, and notes that if pain persists for several days and isn’t relieved with over the counter medicines it may be time to seek an expert. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.