Health and wellbeing National Pain Week 2023

National Pain Week 2023

24 – 30 July 2023

Allied healthcare key to managing chronic pain

This Pain Awareness Week, Osteopathy Australia is encouraging Australians to learn more about the options available to manage pain relating to musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, by busting the myths around chronic pain and pain management.

Working from home a real pain for Aussies

Osteopathy Australia’s 2022 Australian Analysis of Attitudes to Pain and Pain Management shows people still hold a number of misconceptions when it comes to pain and pain management.

1 in 6
Australians live with chronic pain every day.
1 in 4
Aussies admit they would have to be unable to move before seeking the help of a health professional.
1 in 4
Australians live with chronic musculoskeletal conditions, such as back problems and arthritis (ABS 2022 data).
2 million
People in Australia are affected by arthritis, the second-most common long-term condition affecting over two million people (2021 Census).
1 in 5
People in Australia believe arthritis can only be treated with medication.
1 in 5
Australians have used medication to treat pain related to arthritis.
Pain relief

Myth 1: Learn to live with your pain

Often, people aren’t aware of the options available to them, and are waiting too long before seeking the help of a healthcare professional by which time their pain has become chronic.

There are several ways allied health professionals, such as osteopaths, may be able to manage pain and medication is not the only answer.

Myth 2: Arthritis can only be treated with medication

Although there is no cure for arthritis, osteopathy may help to reduce pain, ease swelling and improve mobility and range of joint movement. Early diagnosis and improving a person’s lifestyle are key to preventing further degeneration, and to help them perform daily activities more easily.


exercise arthritis
Move More

Myth 3: Moving is bad for you

Pain relief techniques, such as manual therapy, and lifestyle management, such as exercise, can actually improve the quality of life for people with arthritis, helping to reduce pain and stiffness, and get people back to doing the things they love.


Myth: 4: Arthritis only affects older people

Although the rates of arthritis increase with age, yet another myth is that arthritis only affects older people, but experts know the condition can affect people of any age.

young person arthritis
Susanne Gervay

Susanne's story: Rheumatoid arthritis

Susanne is an author, publishing books for children and young adults. She was a 19-year-old university student when she first noticed her arthritis when her hands, knees and elbows began to spasm.

After visiting the medical centre at Sydney University, she was told by doctors she had rheumatoid arthritis. Her condition is intermittent, meaning some days the pain is so intense she is bedridden, while on other days she is able to get on with her life and continue her day-to-day activities.

Despite this, Susanne is grateful for the osteopathy treatments that she receives allow her to continue to do the things she loves.

Share your story

Tamara's story: Arthritis in the neck

When Aussie mum of four, Tamara was hospitalised in her late 20s with headaches, vomiting and a tingling down her arm, she received a life-changing diagnosis when doctors found a bone spur growing into her spinal cord as a result of the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis.

“It took three years to find a surgeon willing to perform surgery because I needed a disk replacement, and the risk was extremely high,” Tamara says. “The saddest part was when the doctors advised me against having any more children because of my condition.”

“While I was waiting for my surgery, I started osteopathic treatment and I’m walking today because of those treatments, plus I went on to have another beautiful baby who is now six years old!

“I still get lots of different symptoms, which I manage with osteopathy. My osteopath also provides clinical pilates, a self-guided exercise and strengthening program and collaboration with a remedial masseur. I work full time and I’m a busy mum with four children. My quality of life is only as good as it is because of my osteopath,” she says.

Share your story

Claire's story: Osteoarthritis

Claire has osteoarthritis in both knees which has caused secondary pain in her lower back. She has had one total knee replacement and will eventually need to have her other knee replaced.

Claire uses osteopathy to manage her pain. Her osteopath provides manual therapy, pain management advice, education and exercises to keep her active and participating in her work as a nurse. This included helping Claire to prepare for her knee replacement followed by surgical recovery and rehabilitation.

Manual therapy provides symptomatic relief, and Claire’s osteopath works alongside her GP and orthopaedic specialist to help her to manage her pain. This includes helping Claire to understand her condition and what she needs to do when the pain becomes chronic to improve her general health and wellbeing.

Share your story

Share your story

How has osteopathy helped you to manage your pain and move better?

Contact us

Find your local osteopath today!

Find an osteo near you to help you manage your pain. All the osteopaths listed on are registered osteopaths and members of Osteopathy Australia.

Find an osteo

What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy involves clinical care of the neuro-musculoskeletal system, which is made up of the bones, muscles, nerves and other tissues that support your body and control its movements.

Find out more

Interactive Body Map

Osteopaths treat more than bones. Tell us where it hurts and find out how osteos may be able to help you so you can get on and do the things you love.

Visit Body Map