NEW YORK — One in three Americans take over-the-counter pain medication every single day. In a poll of 2,000 adults, 20 percent reported taking OTC pain medications once a day and 12 percent take it “a few times a day.”
Even so, respondents seemed more interested in avoiding pain altogether; 57 percent prefer a preventative approach, compared to 15 percent who tend to react to pain after it’s already started.
Over-the-counter medication proved to be the most popular form of primary preventative action (42%), followed closely by myofascial release tools like foam rollers and back wheels (39%). In the case of reactive methods, however, respondents were more likely to mention rest (42%) over OTC medication (34%) or myofascial release tools (37%).
Feel the pain
The poll, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Chirp, also explored the ways in which pain inhibits Americans from performing everyday tasks.
Of those polled, the average respondent spends three days a week feeling limited by pain. Almost half (49%) say their pain affects them at work, and two in five note it impacts their ability to do social activities.
“Pain caused from environmental factors can directly impact your lifestyle choices,” says Chirp CEO Tate Stock in a statement. “In addition to limited physical activity, pain can cause psychological effects such as feelings of isolation and fatigue, being easily distracted or having a poor self-image”.
Sixty-one percent of respondents noted environmental factors that contribute to their pain. Three in 10 cited poor posture as a contributing factor, despite the fact that one in four have purchased supportive furniture for pain management.
Immobility is a painful lifestyle
Poor sleeping habits (36%) and a sedentary lifestyle (35%) also rank high on the list of activities contributing to the average’s person’s aches and pains. When asked what part of their daily routine best manages pain, about three in 10 point to some form of exercise.
“Most of my pain is residual from my many head and neck surgeries, so I don’t think complete management is possible,” one respondent admits. “Usually, I just try to ignore it and get on with my day. It is because all pain relief is temporary, prescription drugs would not offer lasting relief, so I stick to OTC pain relief.”
While pain prevention and management have become part of Americans’ daily routine, almost three-quarters (73%) say spending time with loved ones makes them feel healthy. Another 73 percent say increasing their physical strength contributes to feeling able-bodied.
“Using myofascial release tools, especially those with vibration therapy, localize pain relief to increase blood circulation, leading to faster healing tissue, increased mobility and reduced joint pain,” Stock continues. “A vibration therapy tool, such as a vibrating back wheel, is known for relieving pain. Consistent use of this type of tool is a natural alternative to prevent muscle injuries and further pain because it strengthens muscle tissue.”