SURVEY SHOWS THE UK TOPS THE BODY PAIN CHARTS IN WESTERN EUROPE
BODY PAIN IS UNDERMINING QUALITY OF LIFE ACROSS THE COUNTRY
- First-of-its-kind global consumer research survey finds that 93% of people in the UK suffer from body pain 1
- Findings reveal the impact of body pain on our work, mood, family and social lives
According to countries surveyed, the UK is the nation most likely to say they cannot have sex because of their body pain
London, UK, 25th February 2016 – The first-of-its-kind global consumer research survey into body pain sees the UK as the country where the most people report feeling pain out of the countries surveyed in Western Europe. Almost all of us experience body pain (93%), with two-thirds (67%) of us suffering every week and over one in ten (12%) saying they feel in pain constantly. But, despite appearing to be a nation in pain, of all the European countries surveyed, the UK has the least understanding about what causes their body pain.
BODY PAIN IMPACTS OUR QUALITY OF LIFE
While these findings alone could be reason for concern, what potentially makes this even more worrying is that the report also highlights the wider impact body pain is having on our lives, with its effects being felt in our social, professional and family lives. This is according to the first-of-its-kind Global Pain Index (GPI) commissioned by body pain expert, Voltarol®.
The Global Pain Index spoke to 7,000 people aged over 18 across four continents and 14 countries to learn more about how body pain is experienced across the world. It reveals that when it comes to that countries that experience the most body pain the UK comes in at 93% and Australia came first by a slim margin, with 97% of people reporting body pain.
BODY PAIN AND ROMANCE
One surprising fact the GPI identified about our national character is that the people from the UK are most likely to allow their pain to stop them enjoying a night of romance with their partner. Over half (55%) have said they cannot have sex because of their body pain. In contrast, Latin lovers from Italy were the least likely to have said they cannot have sex due to body pain, with just under a third (31%) of them giving romance the cold shoulder if they were in pain.
BODY PAIN AND SOCIAL LIFE
But our problems don’t stop with our love lives. Pain stops us from enjoying our lives to the full and doing the things we love. Two thirds of us (67%) say that pain has affected our social lives, four in ten (44%) of us say pain has prevented us from doing our favourite things, and a similar proportion (40%) admit that pain has forced them to give up some of their hobbies.
BODY PAIN AND FAMILY LIFE
Pain is putting family life under pressure too. Over half of the parents surveyed (57%) believe they would be doing a better job without pain.
BODY PAIN AND WORK
We are feeling the pain professionally too; in the UK more than 6 in 10 people (62%) say that body pain has had an impact on their professional life, including their career. The cost of this pain is twofold, it holds us back at work, but it also hurts the economy. According to the Office of National Statistics’ ‘Absence in the Labour Market’ report 2 the most common cause of absence from work was musculoskeletal problems, including back pain, neck and upper limb problems, accounting for 30.6 million days lost.
BODY PAIN AND MOOD
These unique findings reveal the negative effect pain has on our lives, so it should come as no surprise to discover that pain is hurting our emotional wellbeing too. Six in ten (61%) of us say that pain can significantly impact our mood- with 40% frustrated, 36% annoyed, 27% cranky and 32% feeling old. One particularly poignant discovery is that almost half of us (47%) find we cannot feel happy when we are in pain.
IGNORING BODY PAIN
This indifference could just be covering up the fact that few of us understand exactly what is causing our discomfort. Of all the European countries surveyed, respondents in the UK were the least likely to understand the cause of their pain. Only half of us (53%) know what lies behind our pain, as opposed to the most informed nation, China, where seven in ten people (71%) understand the causes of their body pain.
Top 10 Findings - UK and Body Pain According to the GPI survey
- Out of Western European countries surveyed (UK, Italy, Sweden & Germany), we are the country most likely to experience body pain
- According to the survey, lower back pain is the most common source of discomfort
- Out of the countries surveyed, people from the UK are most likely to see pain as just part of life
- Of the countries surveyed, we are the European nation least likely to understand the cause of our pain
- Of the countries surveyed, we are the most likely to say no to a night of romance if we are in pain
- Of the countries surveyed, over half of us say that pain impacts our ability to do household chores
- UK workers are the least likely of the European countries surveyed to call in sick because of body pain
- Half of UK parents believe being pain free would make them better mums and dads
- Almost half of us say we can’t feel happy when we are in pain
- Two thirds of us have let pain impact our social lives
Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP from London, said: “Many people in the UK are taking the attitude that body pain is something you can ignore and hope it goes away, but this approach isn’t working. The findings of the GSK Global Pain Index have shown us that the UK is one of the countries where most people report feeling pain, but it also illustrates that we need a better understanding of our pain and how to treat it.
Pain is hurting every aspect of our lives in the UK, stopping people from enjoying time with friends and family, from enjoying the hobbies and sports they enjoy and hurting their prospects at work.
This study highlights how important it is for us as health professionals to help people understand their pain and treat it effectively.”
As a global leader in pain relief GSK are dedicated to producing effective products to treat pain, such as Voltarol®. We believe that this along with educating people on appropriate ways to treat pain is a way we can help free more people from physical pain and allow them to experience the joy of movement once again and get back to doing all the things they love from sports and hiking to dancing and swimming.”
Eckstein continued: “We know that people are concerned about the impact of pain on their lives. On Twitter alone it has had over 31.5m mentions in the last six months. We want to turn this conversation around and allow more people to celebrate being pain free, or manage their pain better, sharing how that makes them feel and how it has enabled them to return to doing all the things they love again. We want to encourage people to join the conversation using the hashtag #BreakThroughPain.”
To find out more about the Global Pain Index go to www.voltarol.co.uk/pain.
Notes to Editors
For more information, interviews, please contact:
- Jackie Kough on +44 203 047 2658 or [email protected]
- Stephanie Illy on +44 203 047 4052 or [email protected]
About the Global Pain Index (GPI)
The GPI is a global study by GSK Consumer Healthcare, with the first edition completed on behalf of body pain expert Voltarol®. It was conducted by global market research firm Edelman Berland, across four continents and 14 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, UK and the USA). Fieldwork took place from November 2014 through January 2015 among 7,000 adults aged 18+, including more than 500 people in the UK.
Voltarol®, made by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare contains diclofenac and is an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. The Voltarol® portfolio includes topical formulations to relieve pain and inflammation so that consumers can enjoy the Joy of Movement. Diclofenac has been used effectively since the discovery of the agent in Switzerland 40 years ago. To learn more about body pain and how to relieve body pain effectively, go to voltarol.co.uk.
Voltarol® Emulgel P, Voltarol® 12 Hour Emulgel® P 2.32% Gel and Voltarol® Pain-eze Emulgel® contain diclofenac diethylammonium for relief from pain and inflammation in joints and muscles. Voltarol® Emulgel P also relieves the pain of osteoarthritis.
Voltarol® 140 mg Medicated Plaster for relief from pain and inflammation in muscles, including neck, shoulder, arms and legs. Contains diclofenac sodium.
For short term treatment of mild or moderate pain. Always read the label.
About GSK Consumer Healthcare
GSK Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest consumer healthcare companies, responsible for some of the world’s best loved healthcare brands including Sensodyne®, Panadol®, Otrivine® and Voltarol®.
1 Definition of “body pain”: “Aches in your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints (e.g. back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain or osteoarthritis). We are not referring to headaches, cuts, period pain, tooth pain, or more severe pain.”
2 Office of National Statistics (2014) Full Report: Sickness Absence in the Labour Market, February 2014, Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lmac/sickness-absence-in-the-labour-market/2014/rpt---sickness-absence-in-the-labour-market.html (Accessed: January 2016).
Dancing Through Life – Voltarol Video
A British husband and wife in their 70s are celebrating the fact that dance is still a major part of their lives, over 60 years after first dreaming of becoming dancers. The couple’s lives together and their love of dance has been brought to life in a new video for body pain expert, Voltarol®, entitled ‘Dancing Through Life’. The video is being unveiled at the same time as GSK’s Global Pain Index.