Is It Ok To Have Pain When Training

Is It Ok To Have Pain When Training

January 30, 2024

As physical therapists who work primarily with lifters, runners, and athletes of all kinds, one of the most common questions that we get asked is “is it ok to have pain when I’m training?”

It’s easy to think that any amount of pain when lifting, running, or doing your sport is a bad thing, or to think that you’re doing more harm when this happens, but luckily this may not be the case!

When our clients are rehabbing an injury but trying to continue doing the training they love, we have them follow these two basic criteria:

Severity of Pain

When trying to figure out if pain during training is ok during the rehab process, identifying the severity of the pain is very important.

We have our clients think of the severity as a 0-10 scale, in which a 0 is no pain at all and a 10 is the worst possible pain.

Pain from 0-3/10 is a totally acceptable amount of pain, and we view it as a green light, meaning you’re good to keep doing that exact type of exercise, weight etc, and don’t need to modify anything.

Pain from 4-6/10 is a yellow light, which means that you should probably modify some aspect of the activity (weight, volume, range of motion, speed etc) to try to bring the pain down a bit, but you don’t have to stop training.

Pain from 7-10/10 is a red light, which means that this amount of pain is too high and you should discontinue the exercise that you’re doing.

Length of Pain

Another important aspect to look at is how long the pain lasts during/after exercise.

If the exercise you’re doing causes an increase in pain or a flare up that goes away immediately or doesn’t last more than a day or so, that’s generally ok.

If the flare up lasts two or more days, then we would want to modify your exercise to reduce how long the flare up lasts.

In most cases, it’s totally fine to train with some level of pain, and when we’re working with our clients we often tell them that we don’t want their rehab exercises or training to be totally pain free all the time, because they may not be training hard enough if this is the case!

But, by following these two criteria, you can ensure that what you’re doing in the gym isn’t likely to actually make your injury or pain worse.

If you’re dealing with an injury that’s affecting your training and are looking for expert help, fill out our contact form and we’ll schedule a free phone consultation to see if we’re the right fit for you!

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BLOOD FLOW RESTRICTION
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COACHING AND PROGRAMMING
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IASTM
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MANUAL THERAPY
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ORTHOPEDIC THERAPY
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RUNNING REHAB
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ACL REHAB

PERSONAL TRAINING
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PHYSICAL THERAPY
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SOFT TISSUE MOBILIZATION
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SPORTS REHABILITATION
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THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE
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VIRTUAL PHYSICAL THERAPY
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CROSSFIT/LIFTING REHAB