Should you run or exercise through your pain?

Should you run or exercise through your pain?

To start with, it’s always your decision to rest or to exercise. Generally the advice is that, if you are sore when running or exercising, that you can continue if your pain remains mild, i.e. it is 5/10 or below (see scale below), it resolves the next day and the overall issue is improving. However, if your pain is or becomes severe (6/10 or above), if there is a suggestion that there is serious injury or if your pain does not settle the following day, the consensus is that you do not run, exercise or participate in sport.


Sometimes you can run through your pain if you can modify it as you go to test your pain threshold, to “poke the bear” so to speak (this is different to injury threshold which is your ability to move when injured). Or you can go down the graded exposure route of shorter or slower runs/exercises then gradually returning back to your usual levels of exercise. If these options aren’t viable and your pain is still severe, please do make an appointment to see your Chartered Physiotherapist to get you back to your best. “If in doubt, get it checked out.”

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Aine Tunney, MISCP

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