Is ‘No Pain No Gain’ A Thing?


Hi everyone, how are you going? Karen Finnin here, Physiotherapist and Director of Online Physio.

So continuing in my series of ‘Body Myths’, today I’m going to talk about the term ‘No pain, no gain’.

Now as a physio of course I’ve had patients come in and say this term over the years and I just wanted to categorize it a little bit.

So certainly in some instances, if there’s a joint that is stiff, if there’s a muscle that’s a little bit weak, there can be a feeling of discomfort or pain when we get those things going again, but there are other injuries where the presence of pain is indicating that that structure doesn’t want that activity to occur.

So the bottom line with ‘No Pain, No Gain’ is be completely guided by your health professional because they can categorize what type of pain you have and therefore whether continuing to work into a degree of that pain is safe, or whether that presence of pain is completely telling and it’s that structure’s way of saying ‘don’t push me and don’t test me’ OK?

Classic example of this: If there’s a little bit of a tendon issue perhaps in your Achilles we know that a low-grade level of pain is okay to function with.

Something else might be issues with a cartilage in your knee.

We know that anything that’s loading it up and making it sore is making it worse.

So at the end of the day it’s not a blanket term.

If you hear ‘No pain no gain’ ask for a little bit more categorization: Should you push through it?

At what level should you push through it, or is it a warning to say give that thing a break?

All right I hope that’s been useful for you guys.

Look after yourselves, and consult your health professional if you’re not sure about your pain.

Thanks guys, I look forward to bringing you another ‘Body Myth’ soon. Bye!


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