Millions risk needless back pain agony by ignoring GP advice

Back pain sufferers fail to take GP advicePic: Getty

Millions of back pain sufferers are needlessly adding to their own agony by ignoring doctors' advice, a new study has revealed.

According to a survey of 2,056 people, by back care device manufacturers bac<, two-thirds of Brits who visit their GP with back problems ignore the advice given, and fail to undertake the recommended exercises to improve the situation.

Yet many of those who have suffered the agony of back pain said it cause problems in their day-to-day life, from relationships to work.

Of those polled, some 24 per cent admitted the pain had an effect on their mental health, with a further 35 per cent confessing it made them short-tempered and irritable. More than a fifth claimed their back issues had impacted work or study negatively, while 25 per cent felt unable to do housework, and ten per cent could no longer take care of their pets properly.

The survey also revealed that 19 per cent were prevented from enjoying their hobbies, 14 per cent were no longer able to drive, and eight per cent struggled to look after the kids.

For 14 per cent, back pain had even put an end to any bedroom activity, and many reported that their relationships with children, family, friends and work colleagues had been affected.

Nevertheless, 64 per cent admitted they sometimes did not follow their GP's advice.

Mark Critchley, a spokesman for bac<, told the Daily Express: "Back pain is very common, affecting around 85 per cent of us at some point in our working lives."

He added: "Of course, some types of pain do need professional help and if you're worried it's worth seeing your GP. But if you do, listen to them and take their advice, or it's a waste of a valuable GP appointment and your time."

A report by think-tank Work Foundation last October found that a massive 35 million work absences are now attributed to back pain.

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