Causes of Pain

Damage and Strain are the 2 main causes of pain in your musculo-skeletal system.


Damage is caused by, amongst other things, mild to significant trauma, moderate or worse arthritis, bad osteoporosis, degeneration of spinal discs or invasive diseases such as primary or secondary cancer.

These problems need specialist treatment so if you think this may be you, go and see someone about it as soon as possible.

Useful Addition

The information in these pages may be a useful addition to other treatment you get because strain is almost always present and usually overlooked when damage has been done.

Do what you can for the damage then do what you can for the strain.


Strain is caused by, amongst other things, mild to significant trauma, mild or worse arthritis, poor posture, stiff joints, misaligned bones and tight or weak muscles.

Causes or contributes

In my experience, strain causes or contributes to most chronic and recurring muscle joint and back pain. It is this strain based pain that I am primarily addressing on this website and in my Video.


From my perspective, developed over many years, most musculo-skeletal pain boils down to Stiff Joints, Misaligned Bones and Tight or Weak Muscles.

Mobilize, realign, stretch and strengthen

So if you can free up your joints, realign your bones and loosen and strengthen your muscles, you have an excellent chance of reducing and better managing or even eliminating your pain and debility and therefore have a better quality of life.


Strain can very often be addressed with simple stretching and exercising. You just have to know which ones to do. I have never met anyone who figured out exactly what they needed to do to address their underlying strain pattern, on their own.

Unravel the mystery

This website and my Video are designed to help you unravel the mystery of effectively addressing what is keeping you in pain, or keeps that pain coming back, and what you can do about it.

We’re all different

We are all individuals and the nuances of our problems vary from one person to the next, that is why getting an individual assessment, treatment and management plan is a really good idea. As everyone knows, no part of us is exactly the same as anybody else.

We’re all the same

However, let’s not forget that we all belong to the same species. We are all human beings and as such what we have in common vastly outweighs our differences.

Pain and debility

Pain and its associated disability cuts through every cultural, financial, geographical, political, religious and philosophical divide. Whatever you know, however think, pain is pain. An arthritic hip or bad back hurts and will slow you down and effect your mood and your sleep, whoever you are, where ever you’re from, whatever you do.

Pain is Pain

Rich or poor, pain is pain, it does not discriminate. An Australian knee is pretty much the same as an American or Argentinian knee. They all have the same origins. They all work on exactly the same underlying principles and are all effected by exactly the same mechanical forces.


Our bodies have predetermined responses to almost everything that happens to us.

The same

When we get cut, for example, our blood clots and blood vessels constrict, the immune system swings into action to clear up any infective organisms that may have gotten inside, then the tissues start growing back together. It’s always the same. For all of us.

Same response

In the same way, our bodies have a predetermined response to trauma and postural strain. We feel discomfort, tenderness, pain, inflammation, swelling and limited, often difficult movement. Joints stiffen, muscles tighten and we are pulled out of alignment, usually into a predetermined pattern of strain.


This predictability makes it possible to address many of the musculo-skeletal problems that we are prone to with a small number of strategies and stretches.

The really good stuff

The 4 most useful things to address are Flexibility, Alignment, Suppleness and Strength.

Referred organ pain

Another cause of pain is reflex pain from internal organs.

It is far less common than damage or strain but it still needs to be considered if there is not another more obvious reason for the pain.

2 way

Our nervous system is a 2 way mechanism. That is to say information travels along nerves in both directions. If an organ or internal area of your body is experiencing problems, it may manifest as musculo-skeletal pain.

Other problems

Many of the gynae problems that women get cause back pain. So too can gut problems. Pneumonia can cause severe back pain, especially the lower ½ of the back of the ribcage. Cardiac problems can cause pain in the upper back too.

Kidney Stones

A classic example of this is kidney stones. Kidney stones hurt. They hurt beyond belief. If you’ve had them you know what I mean. This is not a common complaint, but when it happens it is staggering. If you have sudden severe and unrelenting or recurring back pain with no apparent reason, it may be kidney stones.

If this sounds like you, go and see your doctor.

Nerves come out of the spine

The nerve supply to most of our organs come from the spine. If there is strain and inflammation at a spinal segment where one or more of these nerves comes out of the spine, those nerves can become irritated and inflamed. When this happens those nerves may not function properly and when they don’t, the body part those nerves go to can’t function properly either.


Of course, spinal dysfunction is not the only cause of reproductive system problems in women but if it is, it has probably been overlooked by your doctor or gynaecologist. If this may be you, go and see an osteopath or other suitably qualified professional for a spinal assessment.

Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type of arthritis. Osteo means bone, arth means joint and itis means inflammation.

It is most commonly caused by chronic stiffness in a joint or joints. Stiffness that a person may be completely unaware of for years or decades. Or they may just put it down to getting older, and not knowing what to do about it, just put up with it, as it slowly gets worse.

There is also a genetic component, some people are more prone to it than others.

3 Main Causes of Muscle, Joint & Back Pain

  • Strain  
  • Damage  
  • Reflex

The least likely cause of back pain is reflex pain from the internal organs. More likely it is caused by damage caused by disease or trauma. By far the most likely cause is strain caused by trauma or long term postural problems with stiff joints and unbalanced, tight muscles.

If you have back pain caused by an organ problem or disease, you first and foremost need to get that treated. You always need to go to the cause of the problem, then address the symptoms.

Seek Medical Attention

If you have pain from damage caused by trauma, you need medical attention. Especially if it is spinal trauma. Or if there was a loss of consciousness. These definitely need proper assessment. If in doubt, get it checked out.

Do what you can for the damage, then do what you can for the strain.

Number 1 Cause of Joint and Back Pain

The most likely cause of chronic and recurring muscle, joint and back pain is strain caused by stiff joints, misaligned bones and tight, unbalanced and weak muscles.

Eliminate or Reduce and Better Manage

That means if you get your joints moving well, your bones properly aligned and your muscles supple, balanced and strong, you have an excellent chance of eliminating or reducing and better managing your pain.The best way to do that is with plenty of stretching and exercising.

Stretch Every Day

If you have chronic or recurring muscle, joint or back pain, you need to at least stretch for a few minutes a few times a day. Not just any old random stretches, but the ones that will directly address the particular restrictions in your joints.


Exercise enough to raise your heart rate, respiratory rate and a sweat, at least 3 times week. Simple.

To learn which stretches you should do and exactly how to do them, find yourself a suitably qualified and experienced teacher or, (more conveniently), get my Video.