Bodywell Exercises

Exercise my pain away: Why does my osteopath prescribe me exercises?


As osteopaths we often prescribe exercises and stretches to our patients to partake in outside the treatment room as part of our patients treatment plan.

These prescribed exercises are tailored to each individual patient, which takes into account their presenting condition or injury, medical history and their specific goals.

We don’t just give these exercises out for fun; they have a purpose, and that is to help YOU! so we expect YOU to do them!

The exercises prescribed by your osteopath are typically chosen to help promote the healing process, encourage and improve mobility and strength and to reduce and prevent future issues related to your musculoskeletal pain and discomfort.

As osteopaths we aim to try and restore the body’s natural balance and function via a holistic approach and view the body as a whole interconnected system.
Exercises that we prescribe can help target multiple areas to assist with your presenting complaint and address any underlying contributing factors.

If that hasn’t convinced you enough, then let’s dive in a little deeper.


Why should I do my prescribed exercises?

Promote healing and recovery: exercises and movement assists in the body’s natural healing process by promoting blood circulation and reducing inflammation.

Improve the body’s mobility and flexibility: many musculoskeletal complaints can result in reduced flexibility and movement (we may describe this as “stiffness”), by prescribing exercises that encourage joint and muscular mobility and flexibility we can encourage better range of motion and increased mobility. Therefore reducing further injury risk and encouraging overall function.

Improve muscular strength: weak muscles are a major contributing factor to musculoskeletal pain and injuries. Specific muscle strengthening exercises may be prescribed by your osteopath to address muscle imbalances and weaknesses. Muscular strength will help provide joint support, stability, reduce pain and reduce future injury risk. So let’s get Hulk strong!

Correct postural imbalances: poor posture can result in musculoskeletal pain and discomfort, such as neck, back pain and headaches (ouch!). Prescribing exercises that address postural imbalance and encourage better postural support can reduce strain on our muscles and joints.

Prevent recurring musculoskeletal pain and discomfort: not only do we want your pain to reduce and go away, we as osteopaths want to prevent further recurrences. Prescribed exercises can assist in helping to maintain ideal functioning and reduce the chances of the musculoskeletal issue from recurring.

Promote teamwork: we as osteopaths can only do so much to help you within the treatment room, to allow for a better outcome, it is important that YOU take on an active role in YOUR own recovery and treatment plan. This team effort will assist in a more positive outcome in reducing your pain and discomfort.

What if I don’t do my prescribed exercises?

Let’s be honest we have all been there, life gets busy and finding the time to squeeze in your exercises can become difficult. However, skipping your exercises can result in poor outcomes.

These can include:

  • Delayed healing and recovery time
  • Limited improvement to your pain and discomfort
  • Prolonged pain and discomfort
  • Recurring Issues and pain exacerbation
  • Worsening symptoms of your presenting complaint or condition
  • Inability to reach your specific goals

Doesn’t sound great does it?
This is why we advise our patients to follow their prescribed exercises, so they can achieve optimal results and experience the benefits in addressing their pain and discomfort.

Exercises for Shoulders Bodywell

What if I’m finding my exercises to be too painful or difficult?

The answer is simple, if you are struggling have a chat with your osteopath! We are here to help, we are a team!
Not every exercise will suit everyone. Adjustments and alternatives can be given and made to your prescribed exercise program to assist with any areas of difficulty you may be having.


Our osteopaths at Bodywell Healthcare are here to help you! If you have any questions or concerns regarding your current prescribed exercises, reach out to us on 03 9717 1200 or email us to book an appointment with an osteopath click HERE