MORE than a third of Brits say they are suffering from an increase in aches and pains since the start of the Covid lockdown.
Research has found 36 per cent of people have experienced acute pains in their back, head and joints in the last six months.
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A survey of 2,000 UK adults also revealed 25 per cent put their new ‘lockdown pain’ down to a poor office or workstation set-up at home.
Back ache (36 per cent) is the biggest problem for Brits followed by headaches (34 per cent), joint pains (27 per cent), neck aches (26 per cent) and muscle pain (24 per cent).
But the research, commissioned by Nurofen, showed an interesting pain paradox – as some of the lockdown ‘benefits’ were also listed as pain triggers.
More than one in 21 per cent blamed DIY and gardening for causing the issues while 16 per cent said exercise had increased their aches.
It also emerged those aged 25–44 were more likely to claim their increased pain was caused by a poor work from home set up and more time looking after their children, perhaps as a result of juggling work with home schooling.
On top of this, 50 per cent of all respondents claimed stress was a key factor in their increased pain, which might have reflected the lockdown climate.
Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE, a general practitioner, said: “Pain can affect our mood, relationships, family and work life so it’s important that we take steps to deal with it quickly and effectively.
“It’s clear that adjusting to new ways of living and working has heightened our acute pains, or even caused new ones.
“It is vital that people deal with their pain early to avoid suffering unnecessarily and rely on trusted sources, such as the NHS or a pharmacist to understand the best solution for their individual needs.”
Pain can affect our mood, relationships, family and work life so it’s important that we take steps to deal with it quickly and effectively
Dr Sarah Jarvis
Among those who have experienced issues is Nikki Jacobs, 39, a parent working from home during lockdown.
She said: “Lockdown was quite a roller coaster. It was great to spend more time with the children however working from home, schooling the kids, and juggling family life was stressful and led to headaches and tension pains.
“I’ve always been fit and healthy, so these pains were completely unexpected especially as I never had any issues with pain in the past.
“Going to the GP wasn’t an option, so I just tried to manage it at home by trying to find time to relax when I could or take medication bought in a supermarket despite being unsure if these things would help.
“So many people must have been going through what I experienced, and it amazes me that there isn’t more advice and support relating to pain during lockdown.”
The study also found that despite the increase in aches and pains, since lockdown 21 per cent and 17 per cent fewer people have sought advice from GPs and pharmacists, respectively.
It also emerged that many may have taken the opportunity during lockdown to indulge in a favourite TV series or film, however, 39 per cent believe this increased time spent in front of TVs, computers or laptops caused their pain.
In fact, more screen time may also have had other consequences, with 35 per cent believing changing sleep patterns and 33 per cent thought less physical activity also worsened their pain.
Sezi Unluturk, category manager, Nurofen, added: “At Nurofen we recognise that acute pain can be an inevitable part of life, but it shouldn’t take over people’s lives.
“With the future still uncertain and life not yet back to normal, it is more important than ever that we continue to offer support and guidance.
“Our three Ps of Proactivity, Pain relief and Prevention provide holistic guidance to help people approach pain management confidently and safely so they can get on with their lives.”
For more information on managing pain, visit the NHS website or speak to your GP or pharmacist.