Soreness vs. Pain

A few thoughts that surfaced after my recent DNF at Old Dominion. I experienced what I believed was pain in my hamstring. I got to thinking about the difference between pain & soreness.

Where it hurts

You feel soreness all over. It covers a general area. Pain is more specific. It usually originates in a single, specific location.

Feels good vs. causes injury

For athletes, soreness feels good. It reminds you you’re working hard. You know good things are coming out of being sore. Pain causes injury. Injury can sideline you for weeks, even months. We can all agree, nothing good comes from injury.

Worse over time

Once soreness sets in, it doesn’t get much worse. You just remain sore. Pain gets worse. The longer you go, the more it hurts.

Applying pressure

You feel soreness constantly. You’re sore when you run, when you stand, when you sit, and when you lay down. Pain increases with impact. It hurts more when pressure is applied.

The bottom line

Push through soreness. That’s called perseverance. It’s necessary to go the distance.

It’s usually not a good idea to push through pain.

When you fight soreness and win, you feel great about your decision. When you fight pain, you never win… and the next day you’ll probably realize you made a big mistake.