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No pain No gain

Have you ever questioned yourself before performing any exercise that are prescribed or otherwise to be 100% safe for you?


There is a famous statement which goes like this:

No Pain No Gain

Well most of the time it is true but for rest there is a slight twist in the story.

No Pain No Gain, but Pain that does not get Worse with repeated movements.

Lets say for an example, your pain on Visual Analog Scale (VAS) is 3 out of 10 at rest. Your health care practitioner prescribes you with certain Home Exercise Program (HEP) to be done daily.


Here are two possible scenarios;

Scenario 1: At home you perform those exercises for the first time. Your pain increases to 5 but comes back to 3 after rest. With each succession the pain keeps on increasing to 5 ( not more than that) but at the end always comes back down to 3 or (even better) goes furthur down to 1.
Scenario 2: On the contrary, you perform those HEP. Your pain increases from 3 to 5, but at rest it does not come back down to 3. With each succession the pain gets worse. It keeps un upward trajectory and reaches 7 or 8 on VAS.

It is safe to trust yourself when you know more about how pain works. The above mentioned quote "No pain no gain" is valid when you are in Scenario 1. This is what we call as Green Signal, to keep on doing those exercise.


However, if you are in Scenario 2, it is critical to stop the exercise and consult your health care pracrioneer. This is what we call as Red Signal.


Hence, when ever you perform any exercise either prescribed by someone or self-prescribed its imperative to understand that;

As long as the pain does not get worse with each succession of repeated movements, its safe to perform them.

As a side note; Any raditing pain that peripheralises downwards is also considered to be Red Signal. As a result we have to stop the exercise and consult your health care practitioner.



Always consult a professional when in doubt or when your symptoms gets worse with the prescribed exercise.

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