Pain is that sharp pang
of discomfort people experience when they injure themselves. An injury can be an
internal one or an external one. Depending on the injury, the pain varies. To
understand the concept of good pain from bad pain in simple terms it is best to
look at physical exercise.
Let us take the common
situation where you are doing your daily work outs but you decide to push your
body and stretch it further beyond its physiological limits. If you do that two
things can happen - You will either feel good about yourself or you will have
severe discomfort. This could be due to good pain or bad pain.
It is well known that
when athletes exercise, they try to push themselves to new heights. Discomfort
is part of the process. While exercising or while completing a routine, they
might experience discomfort or pain going through their body without actually
injuring themselves. This pain is usually called "Good Pain" and lasts only for
as long as the workout routine. It is coined good pain because this pain does
not cause the body any harm but actually helps muscles to strengthen. Hence the
phrase "No Pain, No Gain" is apt.
"Bad Pain" can occur
due to an injury. If there is any discomfort for a long period of time after
the workout that does not go away on its own, then it is a sign that something
is not right. Bad pain can be recognized if the pain is very intense or if it
occurs suddenly. This pain should not be ignored and should be treated right
Recognizing Good Pain and Bad Pain
What does good pain
feel like? While climbing a really tall set of stairs or a steep hill, it gets
difficult to breathe as the amount of oxygen going to the muscles becomes less.
When that happens lactic acid starts to accumulate in the muscles. At the beginning
almost nothing is felt, but as the ascent goes on it becomes slightly
uncomfortable, to a point where it becomes unbearable and one would need to
rest before moving any further. So, one would say that one point of
differentiation from bad pain is that good pain has more of a gradual build-up.
Another way to
recognize the pain is the location of the pain. Good pain will be generalised
to a region, whereas bad pain is quite specific. For example, if one 'feels the
burn' in their quads from climbing stairs (good pain), then most likely the
entire front of the leg will feel it, all the way from the knees to the hips.
On the other hand, if there is a tear or strain in the quadriceps (bad pain),
the location of the pain will be a lot more specific - there will be sharp pain
right at the point of the tear and in a small area surrounding it.
Another example of
good pain and bad pain can be muscle
. When muscles have not been exercised in a long time and suddenly
are subjected to some exercise routine that they are not used to, a soreness
forms over them. Normally, soreness will begin a couple of hours after the
workout and will last for a day or two. If this happens, then it is a good sign
and is a sign of good pain. It indicates that the muscles are working and
easing up. But if the pain does not go for more than two days, if it becomes
difficult to move and do any work - it means that during this routine workout
you have torn a ligament or muscle and this requires medical help and one will
need to consult a physiotherapist or an orthopaedic surgeon for further