Do you ignore the pains your feel when you're exercising?

Do you ignore the pains your feel when you're exercising?

A worryingly high percentage of Brits simply ignore niggling injuries or mistreat them according to a new survey– whether they were incurred in the gym, on the golf course, in the garden or even the bedroom.

Research carried out by pain relieving gel, Polar Frost found that Brits are most likely to hurt themselves in the garden than anywhere else, with women three times more likely than men to hurt themselves while out on the dance floor.

The survey of 2,000 Brits also found that 30% have pulled muscles while carrying heavy shopping bags, 21% while doing DIY and 5% while having sex.

The survey revealed there is a significant knowledge gap of how to treat basic sporting injuries despite the drive to encourage more people to get active in the build-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Nearly a fifth of UK adults admitted to having hurt themselves playing sport but when treating a muscular injury 39% of Brits take painkillers as their default form of treatment, 14% use rest as their only form of treatment and a further 14% admit to not taking any action at all, according to the Polar Frost survey.

GP and medical broadcaster Dr Sarah Jarvis said: “By leaving an injury untreated, a once fixable problem can result in having long term, serious implications. With so many wonderful sporting events taking place in the UK inspiring people to get into sport it’s essential we also educate people on how to stay healthy and treat minor niggles using cold gels, elevation and compression to get them back up and out again as soon as possible.”

The most common injuries which put people out of action for a fortnight or more are backache, muscle strains, muscle inflammation and neck ache – all of which can be easily treated to significantly speed recovery.

While Brits will miss out on their next football match or run or gym session through injury, they won’t skip the office. Only 10% surveyed said they had taken any time off for muscle-related injuries. 

Dr Sarah Jarvis’ top 5 tips to treat back ache and muscle strains

Rest is crucial for the first 2-3 days after an injury

Keeping the injured joint up and strapped firmly as much as possible will also help reduce swelling

Ice or cold gels are good, but avoid heat (whether from heat packs or saunas) for the first few days

If you’ve sprained a joint, move it gently in all directions several times a day to avoid stiffening up

Avoid massaging your joint for the first three days – after that, gentle massage can be soothing

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