Survey: Two-thirds of adults still battle pain from childhood injuries

NEW YORK — Feel like that knee injury from years ago still haunts you every time you lace up your sneakers? You’re not alone. A survey finds that two-thirds of adults still battle recurring pain as a result of an injury suffered during high school.

The survey of 2,000 Americans, commissioned by pain relief cream-maker ThermaCare, found that about a third of respondents reported pain particularly from running, weightlifting, awkward golf swings, errant softballs, bike crashes, and other sports-related injuries.

Yet despite the constant aching, nearly eight out of 10 adults still participate in physical activity of one kind or another at least once a week.

Whether it’s bad luck or bad genes, about a quarter of respondents said they hurt themselves just from warming up. But before you ditch the stretching before your workout, consider that another 45% of participants admit they’ve hurt themselves as a result of not warming up or stretching enough. Another 51% said they hurt themselves by moving incorrectly while exercising, while 49% said their injury resulted from pulling a muscle or tendon.

Among the bizarre ways the respondents injured themselves, tripping on the sidewalk while exercising led the way, with 39% experiencing the forgettable faux pas. Just walking can dangerous, too. Thirty-five percent say they’ve hurt themselves falling down stairs, and a quarter admits they hurt themselves just by walking down the sidewalk.

“When it comes to any sporting activity, repetitive stress on muscles, soft tissues and joints can prohibit you from performing at your best, whether you’re a professional athlete or a recreational player,” notes performance trainer and Golf Digest Fitness Advisor Ben Shear, in a statement on behalf of ThermaCare.

For many, suffering an injury keeps them from doing what they love most. Thirty-two percent of respondents say they can no longer participate in their favorite sport or exercise because of persistent pain.

So what do people do after suffering an injury? The survey showed that 45% went down to the ground immediately afterwards, while 38% said they shook it off and kept exercising. In terms of breaking down the tendency to continue exercising after an injury by gender, women were more likely to push through the pain (44%) than men (33%).

As for the most popular ways to manage pain, over-the-counter pain relievers led the way (71%), followed by heating pads (60%) and cold packs (58%).

Researchers put together a list of the top ten activities or exercises that caused injuries among respondents:

Running (43%)
Weight lifting (28%)
Biking/cycling (24%)
Baseball/softball (23%)
Walking (23%)
Football (21%)
Soccer (19%)
Swimming (16%)
Bowling (15%)
Group fitness/aerobics classes (14%)

The survey was conducted by market research firm OnePoll in September and October 2018.

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