No pain no gain?? Should you stop when you feel pain during exercise?



Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.


No pain no gain…it is a phrase that used by a lot of people performing exercises. This motto is used to provide self-motivation and to promote greater value rewards for the price of hard and painful work.

What is pain?

According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain is an unpleasant feeling of sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.

The traffic light analogy:

One of our favourite analogy to use is the traffic light analogy. It is a guide that assists you in understanding if your pain is safe to proceed with the exercise and to avoid re-injury and flare up.


Green light:

Pain behavior:

  1. When you rate your pain <4 out of 10 during exercise

  2. Pain is no worse than baseline or pain improves and resolves after activity within 6 hours

What does it mean?

Green light means GOGOGO!! You may stick with the activity and potentially increase the difficulty.

Yellow light:

Pain behavior:

  1. When you rate your pain 4-6/10 during exercise.

  2. Pain persists but no worse during activity. Takes >6hours to resolve symptoms to return to baseline.

What does it mean?

Yellow light is a safe pain. You need to stay cautious and monitor your pain level to ensure that it doesn’t get worse throughout activity.


Red light:

Pain behaviour:

  1. Severe pain rating >7/10 during activity

  2. Pain worsens during exercise and it stops you from performing the activity any longer

What does it mean?

Red light means STOP!!! When the pain worsens, it is important to realise that you will potentially do more harm than good.

This information can be used to gain a better understanding of your pain. To find out more about how we can help your understanding of pain, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.



Leave a reply ... 

Thanks! Message sent.

Feeling frustrated by pain and injury? We can help you. Book today!


Written by Michael


Call if you have questions on

0490 139 156