The assumption made in the statement of “no pain, no gain” is that the more strenuous and painful the exercises the quicker the recovery. That is not the case. Your body can be overloaded by pushing too far. This is what causes overuse injuries. An exercise done with excessive loads or repetitions can actually do more harm than good. Patients often come into physical therapy with scared or preconceived notions that their therapy session will be painful. They know that physical therapy will make them better but believe this healing might come with pain.
What you should be feeling?
Muscle soreness from a day or two of doing exercises is normal, however, exercising should not be painful. Your body thrives under the right conditions of movement and exercise. Inactivity in our muscles leads to weakening and dysfunction of your body.
What about physical therapy?
Your physical therapist may use techniques that create some limited pain, however, if you are experiencing more than slight discomfort, you should let your physical therapist know right away. Slight pain is sometimes necessary when working to change dysfunctional soft tissue, breaking adhesions in the joint capsule to improve motion, or when performing specific exercises involving mobilizing the nervous system. Generally, the exercises that you will be performing in physical therapy as well as any home exercises your therapist will assign you should never be painful, as this may increase swelling by taxing the joint or muscle. If we create too much inflammation this will result in prolonged and delayed recovery.
To answer the question, when exercising, pain will not improve the workout or your condition. Slight pain during your physical therapy session will be monitored by a licensed therapist. At Elite Therapy Solutions, we always strive to ensure your patient has the best session to recovery.