We’ve all heard the adage “No pain, no gain!”  But we’ve also probably been told: “If it hurts, don’t do it”. So, when it comes to exercising – which is it? The short answer is: it depends.

If you are really struggling with this question, you should follow up with a physical therapy or chiropractic provider. They will be able to evaluate your specific situation guide you on what to do next.  

No pain, no gain

There is such thing as good pain. If you’re challenging your body, this type of pain is normal. Examples of good pain are: the burning sensation in your leg muscles during squats; discomfort in your abdominal muscles during that never-ending plank; or muscle soreness the day after a good session of lifting weights. You can consider these “no pain, no gain” situations.

If it hurts (like this), don’t do it

Generally speaking, here are three rules to follow:

  1. When dealing with bone-related injuries, such as stress fractures or fractures, it is not recommended to push beyond any pain other than muscle soreness (pain levels 0 or 1)
  2. When dealing with a muscle injury, such as a muscle strain or partial tear, it is usually not recommended to push beyond minimal soreness during any exercise (pain levels of 3 or less)
  3. When dealing with a tendon injury, such as Achilles tendinopathy, it is OK to push through a little more pain (pain levels of 5 or less)

The YMCA and Orthology have partnered to provide the community with easy access to physical therapy by opening clinics at YMCA locations. Find the nearest location and book online or stop by and get more information during your regular trip to the YMCA.