Arm Soreness vs. Arm Pain

I’m going to make this topic as open-ended as possible because I’m really not sure what I’m hoping to learn here, and I don’t want to tailor my question in a way that tells me something I want to hear. That said, I will simply ask this:

Is there a difference between arm soreness and arm pain? If you feel there is, please explain the difference.


How about this…

Soreness goes away, pain doesn’t.


That’s a good indicator. I equate soreness with aches and general discomfort even when you aren’t performing the task that caused the soreness. For example, I went for a long hike and my shoulders ache from carrying my back pack. I threw a lot of pitches yesterday and today my arm has some soreness. If I try to do too much while I’m sore, it causes pain.
Pain is associated with the actual activity. For example, I can’t throw my curve ball because my elbow has pain when I do. I tore my PCL and I have sharp pain when I walk.
Generally, I associate soreness with fatigue or overuse. Pain is what you get when something breaks.

People often throw around the word pain as anything that causes them discomfort, sort of like everyone who gets sick says they have the flu. Most people who say they have the flu, do not have it…they are just wimps. Same with people who call soreness a pain.

It’s normal to feel sore after pitching. My coach always told me, if I start to throw and feel sore, throw through the soreness. If I start to throw and feel pain, stop immediately. Don’t risk it

Good topic. Here’s some additional info:

After activity, muscular soreness typically peaks 24-72 hours after activity. This is the result of small, safe damage to muscle fibers and is called Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness (DOMS). During this time, your muscles may be tender to touch and feel tight and achy. Movement may initially be uncomfortable but moving and gently stretching your muscles will help to decrease soreness. During the few day period that you experiencing muscular soreness, you might consider performing alternate exercise activities in order to give your sore muscles an opportunity to recover while strengthening other muscles.

In contrast to muscular soreness, you may experience pain during or after performing exercise. This may feel sharp and be located in your muscles or joints. This pain may linger without fully going away, perhaps even after a period of rest. This may be indicative of an injury. Pushing through pain can result in injury. If you feel that your pain is extreme or is not resolving after 7-10 days you should consult with a medical professional. This person will diagnose your injury and direct you to the appropriate pathway of care.

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I always have my son perform warm down exercises shortly after pitching including some light throwing the next day. He’s either a freak of nature, or these routines reduce his soreness. He is rarely sore and when he is, it never lasts more than the next day.

That’s the model used in pro ball, too. DOMS should only last 24 hours for well-trained athletes, in my opinion, and light throwing generally helps the soreness go away the next day.

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Even though it may seem ok to pitch through soreness, you really need to be careful. That soreness could make you alter your delivery in an undesirable way. Or, worse, it may cause you to use a stable joint as a mobile joint (or vice versa) which can lead to injury up or down the chain from the sore part of your body.

That happens a lot. Changes / compensations in other areas due to the original soreness can lead to soreness or injury elsewhere.