Aches and pains. What do they mean and what are they telling us?


Most of us experience aches and pain throughout our body on a semi regular basis.

But what do they mean, and what are they telling us?

Generally they are signals warning us that there is some level of dysfunction.  The signals vary in feeling, area and intensity and should always be paid attention to.  By paying attention to the signals they are sending we are able to work towards finding the underlying cause and by addressing this, to help you find relief and avoid a recurrence.

There are 3 main types of pain that osteopathy can assist with …


Musculoskeletal Pain

Our musculoskeletal system is made up of muscles, tendons, bones, cartilage and ligaments. All of these structures will send signals to the brain if they are under stress. Such stress includes injury, repetitive movements or random movements that the body is not prepared for. Pain sensations can be aching or sharp, and can be local or over a broader area. The main distinction from other body pains is these structures are usually aggravated with certain movements or activity, or even inactivity such as sitting at the desk, or sleeping.


Nerve Pain

Nerve pain is one of the most misunderstood pains. Our nervous system is made up of the Central Nervous System (CNS) which is our brain and spinal cord running down to our lower back, and the Peripheral nervous system (PNS) which starts as the nerves exit the spinal cord and pass out through the vertebra of the spine. These are called the nerve roots. The PNS is commonly seen in practice. Pain due to irritation of a nerve will result in pins and needles, numbness, and shooting, electrical and burning pain. Nerve pain usually travels down the nerves path, such as down the arm, across the rib or down the leg. Sciatica is a common symptom and often confused with other pains. Sciatica is a shooting electrical pain that travels down the back of the thigh to the foot, caused by compression of the sciatic nerve as it exits the lower back vertebra. Nerve irritation can be due to compression by a vertebral disc bulge, inflammation, tight muscles or narrowing of the space between the vertebra where the nerve root exits.


Inflammatory Pain

Inflammation is the body’s response to tissue damage. Its purpose is to start the heeling process of the injured area. Our blood contains the molecules needed to repair the injured tissue. Upon injury, these molecules gather at the damaged tissues creating a collection of blood, which is swelling. The inflammatory process can make the area tender, hot and local over the injured area. It is important to rest the inflamed site, but some movement can help and may provide some relief depending on the severity. Inflammation is important, but too much can be detrimental. It is wise to seek advice after an injury to assess the damage and manage the inflammation.


Aches and pains should never be ignored and it is always worth seeking advice from a practitioner. As Osteopathy takes a holistic approach we will take a full health history, and then perform a postural and biomechanical evaluation to source the underlying cause of your pain. From here we will use appropriate techniques in consultation with you, to relieve tension and pain, and provide you with strategies to strengthen your body and reduce the chance of recurrence.


Dr Emma Kopcikas, is an Osteopath at Vibe Natural Health Grange in North Brisbane. She practices Monday to Saturday and you can read more about Emma here.

To book please call our friendly reception team on 07 3366 7970 or online anytime






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