Back pain affects around 85% of the population, but it seems a vast majority are not doing enough to help themselves – making their agony worse.
New research from the back care device makers, bac< has found that two-thirds of sufferers who visit their GP do not follow the advice given or do not do the exercises recommended.
This is despite 27% of the 2,056 people surveyed admitting that they visit their doctor more often when they have back pain, while one in ten claimed his or her back problem appointments lasted longer.
Essentially, millions of Britons are living in needless agony – letting their back pain play havoc with not only their emotional and physical well-being, but also their everyday life and relationships.
As a result of back pain, some 14% of those polled in the study admitted they had to give up sex, while others said it had impacted their relationships with their children, family, friends and work colleagues.
Furthermore, the study showed 24% of those surveyed were experiencing mental health problems, and 35% admitted to acting short tempered and snappy whenever the pain strikes.
Back pain was also found to have a negative effect on studying, with a fifth admitting to such problems, while a quarter said they felt unable to do housework. Daily enjoyment found in hobbies and being able to drive was also noted as being greatly affected.
Mark Critchley, a spokesman for bac<, said that in some cases a trip to the GP isn’t necessary and that back pain can be managed at home with painkillers and gentle exercises.
“Of course, some types of pain do need professional help and if you’re worried it’s worth seeing your GP. But, if you do, listen to them and take their advice, or it’s a waste of a valuable GP appointment and your time.”
This research from bac< follows a report published last year by the Work Foundation think-tank which found that Britons now take 35million working days off a year because of back pain. The figures are the second worst in Europe and the NHS spends £1.5billion a year trying to treat the condition.
If you are experiencing chronic back pain, why not consider alternative forms of treatment such as complementary therapy? See our therapy topics page for a range of treatments designed to help relieve the symptoms of back pain and promote healing.
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