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Physio Explains: Are Physio Exercises Supposed To Hurt?

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The short answer is no, physio exercises should not cause a significant increase in your pain. If they do, you might need to adjust your exercises with your physiotherapist.

The long answer is that physio exercises should not hurt, but is it also depend on the individual, the current status, and what is needed at that time in the recovery journey. However, exercise must be challenging and must indue muscle fatigue.

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Your exercises have to be challenging and induce muscle fatigue to be effective. A general rule of thumb is a pain level of 2-3 is regarded as normal during and immediately after exercise. Muscle soreness the following days after you exercise is a good sign that the exercise is working, but an increase in ‘your pain’ and/or swelling isn’t normal, and you may have done a little too much. Your body will tell you.

An effective muscle results in changes in strength, range of motion, coordination, balance, and endurance, whatever the goal of the exercise is.

Essentially, you need to stress your body just enough to cause an adaptation – but not too much that causes pain.

Let’s dive into the details of pain and exercise because it is important to understand what you should be feeling during and after your exercise program.

What Are Physio Exercises And Why Should I Do Them?

Physio exercises are very specific exercises prescribed by a physiotherapist with specific goals in mind, including getting you back to your daily activities as soon as possible.

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What Does It Mean If I Have Pain During Exercise?

If you are experiencing pain during your exercises you might need to modify them with your physiotherapists. Your exercise program should be very gradual with small increases in load, repetitions, and/or duration of physio exercises.

How To Know If You’re Doing The Exercise Right?

An effective exercise is one that you enjoy, find challenging, but is not painful.

If you feel pain, your physiotherapist can modify or change physio exercises to make them more effective.

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It is also important that you perform the correct technique during physio exercises and do not cause any further injuries. Your physiotherapists will monitor your movement patterns closely throughout the exercise program to ensure it’s safe and effective for you.

How To Progress Physio Exercises?

Physiotherapists have different ways of increasing the difficulty of physio exercises, including modifying your posture or changing your hand position on an exercise device. You might also need to increase repetitions and/or duration of physio exercises if they are too easy for you after some time.

Why Is It Important To Do These Exercises?

It is very important to do physio exercises if you want to achieve your goals. It is a safe and effective way to strengthen, stretch or restore movement patterns.

It can also improve endurance, coordination, balance, and your overall quality of life! We have many different physio exercises that you can choose from depending on what your goals are, maybe it’s increasing strength/flexibility in the upper limbs, or restoring leg strength after a knee injury.

How Often Should You Do The Exercises? 

The dosage of your exercises is very important and is set by your physiotherapist, and is dependent on your current exercise capacity.

It is best to discuss with your physiotherapist what the dosage of physio exercises should be for you, but most people start out doing physio exercises twice a day (once in the morning and once at night).

Since this can be tiring, many choose to do their physio exercise program before starting their workday.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Not Doing These Exercises?

Yes, you may not achieve optimal recovery and run the risk of re-injury or future flare-ups if you do not complete physio exercises. Also, physiotherapy treatment is very expensive, so not only does not doing your exercises delay the recovery process but also costs time and money.

Physiotherapists are experts in exercise prescription so they can help guide you through your physio exercises safely.

You should also speak to a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about pain or discomfort during physio exercises.

What Else Can Affect Whether Or Not My Physiotherapy Will Be Successful?

There are a few things that contribute to the success of your rehab program, from your belief and attitude to the exercise dosage, as we described before. It is important that your exercise program works for you, works for your needs and goals, but also fits into your daily routine.

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Here are a few contributors to the success of physiotherapy:

  • Your belief in the effectiveness of the treatment program.
  • Your trust in the physiotherapist.
  • Your physiotherapist’s belief in the effectiveness of the treatment program.
  • The dosage exercise.
  • The kinds of exercises.
  • Your form during exercises.
  • Your understanding of your condition.
  • Your understanding of how the treatment program reduces symptoms.
  • Your understanding of control over your own symptoms, i.e self-management.
  • Your degree of comfort during treatment, for example, some people do like hands-on therapy so maybe a more exercise-based program will suit them better.

Physiotherapists are trained to give individually tailored, evidence-based care to their clients to give their clients the best outcomes.

Another thing that can affect your physio exercises is the environment in which you complete them. It should be a comfortable, distraction-free place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted while completing physio exercises.

At Dublin Physio & Chiropractic we are passionate about helping our clients get better, faster! We have physiotherapists who are experts in physio exercises and provide you with individualized, evidence-based care.

So, Are Physio Exercises Supposed To Hurt?

Physiotherapy treatment is designed around your specific needs so that they can help achieve optimal recovery; it’s important that our physiotherapists tailor the physio exercise program specifically for you! However, physio exercises are not designed to hurt.

If you experience any pain during physio exercise, it is important that you contact your physiotherapist or healthcare professional right away so the issue can be addressed and resolved as soon as possible! We want our clients at Dublin Physio & Chiropractic to get better both physically and emotionally; we achieve this by providing high-quality, evidence-based care to our clients.

If you have any questions or concerns about physio exercises we would love to hear from you! Call us today at Dublin Physio & Chiropractic on 01 254 4800 for an appointment with one of our physiotherapists to discuss physio exercises or to book a physio assessment today!


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5739826/

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    by | Nov 3, 2021 | Uncategorized

    <a href="http://dublin-chiropractic.com" target="_blank">Kate Ryan Physio</a>

    Kate Ryan Physio


    My goal is to help people get out and stay out of pain. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of living pain free for a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.
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