IS IT OKAY TO PUSH THROUGH PAIN WHEN EXERCISING?
Should you push through pain when exercising?
Pain can be a scary experience, and people are often (understandably) scared or apprehensive to exercise through pain. However pain is not always a bad thing, or necessarily as bad as it feels.
So is it detrimental to push through pain? Well the answer is that it depends…
An important concept to remember is pain does NOT equal tissue damage, and is rather a protective mechanism of our body. Therefore experiencing pain when exercising does not always mean you are causing any harm. There is also published evidence to suggest that exercising into pain can actually be beneficial in individuals with chronic pain.
If you have pain when completing exercise, ensure that you keep it within an “acceptable” level. This means that:
🔹*You need to differentiate between muscle or fatigue related pain, and abnormal or unexpected pain.
🔸*Ideally you shouldn’t push through more than a 3-4/10 on a 0-10 scale (although these numbers are very subjective).
🔹*Your pain shouldn’t be increasing or getting worse as you continue to exercise.
🔸*Your pain shouldn’t linger for 24-48 hours after exercise.
If these rules of thumb are not enough and you are still concerned, then seek guidance from a health professional who practices solely in the field of musculoskeletal health. Find someone you can trust to properly assess your pain, and who can outline a structured management plan to get you where you want to be.
B. Health Sciences (Physio), APAM