Pain is how our body communicates that something is wrong, but no one therapist/practitioner will have all the answers to all of your questions. That’s why a team approach is vital.

So how does this work?

As practitioners, we have a general knowledge of all the body systems and their functions but are more specialised in a specific field.


Specialise in musculoskeletal injury & dysfunction. Myotherapists can help you with pain management of chronic musculoskeletal conditions, postural conditions, and sporting and occupational injuries. They’ll use advanced testing and assessment protocols to get to the cause of the condition, and treatments may include manual manipulation, dry needling, TENS, cupping, joint mobilisation and fascial release.


Specialise in a macro/holistic medical approach. Naturopaths will work with you to first identify triggers and the underlying cause of recurrent pain or inflammation. They will then recommend relevant medications/supplements and strategies to overcome and/or manage your symptoms and find a resolution for your issues. For example, if you suffer from chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia a naturopath could help by recommending medications/supplements that may dampen down pain and systemic inflammation and advise on optimal diet and lifestyle practices, therefore restoring energy levels through nutrient repletion.

Exercise Physiologists:

Specialise in the effects exercise has on the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems. They can help patients get fitter for all around good health or treat patients with a medical condition through exercise, by recommending a course of exercises for either fitness or rehabilitation. They can can also advise on behavioural modification programs.  Exercise physiologists can treat medical conditions such as obesity, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, depression, asthma and cardiovascular diseases, and many others.

Strength & Conditioning Coaches:

Specialise in creating exercise programs specifically to improve performance in athletic competition and bridge the gap between the theory of training and applied training. They also help athletes with injury prevention and proper mechanics within their sports performances. Strength and conditioning is about more than lifting weights – it encompasses the entire development of the athlete and what is needed to improve physical performance. This includes plyometrics, speed and agility, endurance, and core stability. Strength training is just one piece of the jigsaw. They help elite athletes to become faster, stronger and more flexible, and to build their muscular endurance so they perform better and remain injury free.

Running Coaches / Shoe Specialists

Specialise in providing advice on all things running, in particular correct footwear. Finding the right shoe involves looking at a combination of factors including foot shape, foot and ankle biomechanics, previous and current injury history, previous footwear history, ground surface, cushioning preference, training pace, as well as other more specific individual requirements. Having a shoe that you love the feel of and you’re confident in can greatly enhance your running experience! We often work with The Running Company Ballarat.

As you can see, different therapists have different specialties which is why it’s so important that they come together and work as a team, because it’s this team approach that will deliver the best outcome for you.

The team approach:

When struck by pain – whether acute or chronic – we need to pay attention to what the body is saying. Pain may arise from many causes; a specific injury, poor posture, illness, growth pains in young adults, the ageing process in older adults, or even emotional pain.

So without going into all the complexities of pain and how pain manifests, this article is looking more at the prevention of injury/pain, the rehabilitation process, and the importance of a team approach.

Weather the painful condition is acute or chronic in nature, a sensible rehab program needs to be developed. Determining what phase of the healing process the body is in will help determine the timing of the rehab. The type of injury and nature of the pain will also give your team an idea of what is required and who is best to implement their part of the program at each point.

Some examples:

If you have chronic muscle tension with cramping, myotherapy may be a good starting point to release soft tissue dysfunction, then your exercise physiologist may follow up with specific stretch and strength work to assist muscle function,  and your naturopath may prescribe specific herbs or supplements to support your body’s systems.

If you’re an athlete getting a constantly recurring injury it may require a strength & conditioning coach to assess the biomechanics and use specific exercises to correct this and help to develop the required endurance for the activity. A shoe specialist can help with the correct fitting and type of footwear to ensure correct biomechanics is enhanced, and a massage may also help to relieve pain and soft tissue dysfunction.

If you experiences fatigue, a naturopath can help to identify the underlying cause, manage nutritional requirements, and suggest a sustainable treatment plan that includes supplements and dietary plans. An exercise physiologist could then compliment that with a full assessment of your physical condition and an exercise program specifically tailored to suit your needs.

Running can be the cause of many repetitive strain injuries, especially long distance running. Ultra-running can very quickly deplete the body’s energy stores, so nutrition is important. (Although this doesn’t only apply to running.) In this case, a running coach, correct footwear, strength work, nutrition, and massage should all be a part of a regular training and maintenance program.

Is maintenance important?

On the whole, active people are generally very good at sticking to their training programs but have little (or nothing) in the way of a maintenance program. However it’s the maintenance program that will help prevent injury and keep the athlete more productive and at optimal performance levels. Whether they’re an elite athlete or a weekend shuffler like myself, maintenance delivered by an experienced, knowledgeable team is vital for longevity in your chosen activity.