Understanding Pain in our Bodies

One of the most common reasons a patient will visit an osteopath is because they are feeling pain in their bodies. The pain may be recent or continues over a longer period. Chronic pain generally persists for more than three months. Even though it is uncomfortable, pain has an important role to play in keeping our bodies safe. When body tissues are damaged, it triggers nearby ‘receptors’ to send signals through our nervous system to the brain. Along with other sensory information, the signals alert the brain about a problem and activate defense mechanisms to help guard our body against further damage. Pain is our nervous system’s useful way of helping to keep us safe and prevents us from hurting ourselves.


With the right physical therapy and management, our bodies move towards healing and the pain ideally goes away, or at least experiences less pain sensitivity. However, complications can occur because the nervous system can also become over-protective. This means it continues sending warning signals to the brain, even when your tissues are safe or have healed! Also, our ability to manage pain can also be positively or negatively influenced by other environmental factors such as sleep, exercise, mental health and even people around you.

Osteopaths work to assist patients in managing their pain and to support their own self-healing. We assess your pain to try and find the root cause through history taking, physical assessment and findings. A treatment plan is then developed to address identified issues. This could include manual therapy, pain management strategies, exercise recommendations and lifestyle discussions. The process could also result in referral to other medical and allied health practitioners who can provide additional support. Having a better understanding of the when, where, and why pain exists in your life will help you build a more effective and respectful relationship with your own body.

For more information on how osteopathy can help you, contact the clinic on (07) 5659 2727.

Post Written By

Charlotte Hellmundt (Osteopath)