“No pain, no gain”




Most of us have heard this phrase before when it comes to exercising and working towards our goals. Some people live by this phrase where as others scoff at it.


So how much pain is acceptable to have while exercising?

Unfortunately there is no concrete answer to that question, as it depends on the context. An acceptable level of pain is different for each individual and their circumstances.

For example, we tend to encourage people with chronic pain to work through their pain as it may empower them and reduce their fear of exercise. On the other end of the spectrum, we may advise someone who doesn’t listen to their body to reduce their exercise load, which will allow their body to rest and prevent an injury.

Does pain mean that I’m going to have an injury?

Not necessarily.

Although pain is an output from our brains that is normally designed to warn us of an injury, this output can be reduced or heightened depending on the person. It has been shown that people with chronic pain have changes in this process that causes the experience of pain even without the risk of injury.


Is there a rough guideline of how much pain is acceptable?

As a rough guide, we normally advise that a pain level of 4-5/10 is acceptable while exercising as long as it settles within 24 hours.

Pain levels are different for everyone however, so it is important to listen to your own body and understand how you respond to pain.


How can physiotherapy help with my pain during exercise?

Acceptable pain levels during exercise depends on the context of each individual person and this can include but is not limited to; whether you have any previous or current injuries, what type of exercise that you perform, your exercise goals etc.

A physiotherapist can help you identify your exercise goals, and help you understand what level and type of pain is acceptable to keep you on track to achieving your goals.

If you or anyone you know could use some advice around pain and exercise, book online or give us a call on 83523582 to see one of our physiotherapists.

Looking to Make an Appointment?

PhysioWest has 2 locations and a Mobile care. Online booking is the quickest most convenient way to lock in the location, practitioner & time you want. Of course if you need help, call, email or live chat with us.