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Good Pain?? Bad pain!

good vs.badPatients usually find the term “good pain” odd…how can a pain be good? However, a “good pain” is often used to describe muscle aching you may experience during a long hold or after doing a few repetitions of a strengthening or resistance type exercise. For example, if you hold a squat and start feeling an aching in the thighs and gluteal muscles as a result of that long hold, or if you do leg raises in side lying and feel that aching in the gluteal muscles of the leg you are working out. Any type of muscle aching you experience after a workout: known as delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) is an expected type of discomfort. Usually this type of “pain” or discomfort is relieved with moving those muscle groups and stretching. The idea is to keep the blood flowing to help the muscles heal after a strenuous workout.


Whereas a bad pain is usually described as aching or dull, stabbing, grabbing, sharp type of pain or even a referring, radiating, numbing and burning. This is usually experienced during, hours after or even the day after doing an exercise or activity that has caused injury. This is usually not relieved easily and tends to linger or come and go depending on the activity you are doing. For example, some people will only experience a sharp type of pain only mid-way through their run and may notice that they tend to get it earlier and earlier in the run over time which may indicate a worsening of the pain/cause.Studio shot of young man with pain in back


It is always best to seek a health professional’s opinion about pain that is consistent and interferes with your exercise routine or functional every day activities like walking, stairs etc. I would recommend you make note of the following to report to your health care professional which will help provide an idea on the potential cause of the pain:

  • What aggravates/causes your pain (i.e. stairs, walking, sitting, standing etc.)
  • What helps relieve your pain (i.e. walking, sitting, stretching, ice, heat etc.)
  • Type of pain (i.e. sharp, throbbing, aching, stabbing, burning, numbness)
  • Location of pain (i.e. take note of you experience any pain radiating down arm or leg)
  • Intensity and duration of your pain when you do get it


It’s important to note that you may not need a referral to see a Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Massage Therapist UNLESS your extended health benefits plan requires one.

We also offer free 15 minute meet & greet which allow you the opportunity to meet the therapist and discuss your pain/concerns before booking an assessment. Contact us today!


By: Nelly Temraz, PT.

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