No Pain, No Gain….?
Blog Article written by our Senior Physiotherapist, Abi Okell BSc MCSP
‘No pain, no gain’
We hear this phrase a lot from our patients, but it may not always be the case. Physiotherapy shouldn’t always be painful! If anything, it should be the opposite, guiding you to move and function in a pain-free and efficient way.
In the case of most muscle and tendon injuries, we do not need to rest completely, but we should respect our bodies and the healing processes. It can be useful to think about a pain traffic light system to help guide the amount and intensity of exercise and activity following an injury. When returning to or increasing our activity levels, it is important to think about how we feel during the activity and how it responds over the following 24 hours.
In 2007 Silbernagal developed the ‘Pain monitoring model’ which can be used to help guide training and activity modification. It is based on symptom response to exercise within 24 to 48 hours following activity.
It is OK to feel some mild discomfort during exercise. Following exercise symptoms should then settle quickly and not worsen the following day. If this is the case, you are exercising at a level that will encourage positive adaptations in the body. As we gradually increase the amount or intensity of the exercise and activities we are doing, we should aim to keep our symptom level low. If we are not achieving this, we may need to modify or reduce the activity levels in order to facilitate the body’s healing processes.
If you are struggling to stay in the ‘green zone’ think about modifying one of the following:
Range of movement – Not pushing as low or as far in to a movement and finding a more comfortable range that you can aim to increase over time.
Rest time – Increase the rest time between sets of your exercises, or increase the walking time between jogging intervals.
Frequency – If completing your exercises or training every day is proving to be too much, allow a rest day inbetween and aim for 3 days a week.
Duration – If you get an obvious increase in pain after an hours walk or a 20 minute jog, see how it feels if you walk for 40 minutes or jog for 15 minutes. Find your comfortable limit and we can help you progress from there.
Please don’t feel you always have to push through pain to see improvements, this is not true.
If you need more guidance in getting back to sport or an activity you enjoy, get in touch today and let us help guide you back to full fitness.