Britons keep quiet about pain to avoid annoying others, survey claims

Respondents also worry people will not care 

Alice Hughes
Monday 16 September 2019 15:40
Those suffering from shoulder pain should look for treatment options other than surgery
Those suffering from shoulder pain should look for treatment options other than surgery

Millions of people in the UK do not speak up when they are in pain because they do not want to annoy others, a new poll claims.

A survey of 2,000 adults by Nurofen found participants experience two headaches a week on average, with one in five admitting this has led to emotional distress.

And one fifth have taken time off work due to back pain.

However, over one third of those polled do not voice discomfort because they do not want to come across as moaning or worry that others will not care.

Despite this, one in five wished their family members and partners opened up more about their own physical aches.

The poll, carried out to mark International Pain Awareness Month also found one in four were left confused about how to treat pain.

While experts recommend keeping active in order to help back pain, four in ten respondents thought the best option was to rest.

Nurofen spokeswoman, Sezi Unluturk, said: “As a nation, our own pain often gets moved to the bottom of the priority list, which is reflected in our hesitation to speak about it, and in some people’s reluctance to take action to relieve it.

“There are simple ways people can better educate themselves on ways to manage their aches and pains and by announcing these findings, we hope people will realise the benefits in doing so, both personally and for those around them.”

More than a third of respondents said they were unsure about how to manage back pain. One in six ignore it and hope it improves.

Parents were also among those surveyed, with four in 10 saying they have had a restless night’s sleep when their child has fever, with almost half feeling "worried and unsure" about how to deal with it.

And the majority of parents surveyed did not realise ibuprofen can have provide longer relief from fever in children than other over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol.

Instead, more than half of those polled believed all painkillers work in the same way.


Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments