If something is recent, that means it happened sometime in the past, but the activity was not very long ago. Whether or not something is recent depends on the situation. The word "recent" is an adjective.
A recent storm brought lots of rain.
Have you had any recent pain?
Did it happen recently? ("Recently" is an adverb.)
How have you been feeling recently?
Are there any recent movies on cable right now?
The date on this milk show that it isn't a recent purchase. It should be thrown out.