What is good pain? What is bad pain?

After you begin an exercise program, it is normal to have muscle soreness. Snaps, crackles, are pops are also normal unless accompanied by pain. 

Good pain will feel dull or achy, and will occur after exercise.  This is actually a good sign that your muscles are becoming stronger. Massage and stretch your muscles, or soak in a hot bath. 

Bad pain is sharp and may occur during exercise, or in the joint after exercise.  If either of these happens, reduce your intensity by one level (for example, from a 4 to a 3).  When you finish exercising, elevate and apply ice to the affected area.

If you do end up with pain, don’t be discouraged! If you work with our suggestions, you’ll be able to overcome these small, albeit uncomfortable obstacles.  If you still aren’t confident, or the pain is severe or gets worse, ask your doctor to refer you to a physical therapist or to an expert-led exercise program in your community.