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2018 Pain Index

At Liebscher & Bracht, years of providing pain therapy has taught us that understanding the root causes of pain are a crucial part of effective treatment. With 1.5 billion people around the globe suffering from pain, we conducted a survey of our patients to investigate which demographics may be frequently affected. The results reveal a very interesting picture of pain, whilst highlighting which types of injuries are most likely to affect an individual based on their lifestyle.

The study comprises of results from a patient survey of around 8,000 pain sufferers to detail the areas of the body in which they experienced affliction. We then categorized the results by age, gender and profession for comparative analysis. The outcome of the study offers an indication of how varying careers may contribute towards health problems, as well how lifestyle changes over the past several decades might have changed the way that individuals suffer from pain conditions.

„This study only confirms what we’ve known for a long time about how your everyday working life can have an impact on pain conditions by taking the same body positions and one-sided movements.” says Roland Liebscher-Bracht. “The good news is that by recognising patterns between profession and areas of the body most likely affected, individuals in risk groups, such as retail, can take preventative measures to help them lead a healthy life.“

The findings reveal that women experience more pain than men, with a higher frequency of females reporting conditions across all body regions in comparison to males. Retail workers and labourers suffer more pain than office workers, whilst lower back pain is the most common type of pain.

Full results, as well as tips for minimising the potential of body pains, can be found in the sortable tables below the graph.

The graphs below show the percentage of respondents who reported pain in each area of the body. The left-hand side of of both male and female corresponds to the body parts on the front of the human body, whilst the right-hand side corresponds to the back. The lower back was revealed as the most common source of pain, with the highest percentage of men and women complaining of pain from this area. A higher percentage of women than men were more likely to feel pain in nearly all body parts. See below for full, detailed results.

% of respondents who experienced pain in each area of body

GenderHeadNeckShoulderUpper BackArmsHand & WristLower BackHipsButtocksGroinThighsKneeShinCalfFoot & Heel
Male8%35%39%18%11%14%55%27%15%11%12%44%3%11%19%
Female18%55%48%28%16%27%63%35%19%12%15%42%4%9%31%

The lower back was revealed as the most common source of pain, with the highest percentage of men and women complaining of pain from this area. A higher percentage of women than men were more likely to feel pain in nearly all body parts. See below for full, detailed results.

Full Results

Results for Men by Profession

ProfessionHeadNeckShoulderUpper BackArmsHand & WristLower BackHipsButtocksGroinThighsKneeShinCalfFoot & Heel
Athlete6%28%36%17%10%9%51%23%15%12%9%42%3%11%16%
Labourer12%39%42%23%15%18%56%26%15%11%11%47%3%12%20%
Musician15%46%62%19%19%27%50%27%12%8%8%54%8%8%12%
Office Worker9%37%40%19%9%10%56%27%15%10%13%40%3%12%17%
Pensioner5%28%32%8%8%17%55%29%14%9%14%45%3%7%20%
Retail Worker12%50%43%29%24%21%48%29%19%7%17%43%0%17%31%

Results for Women by Profession

ProfessionHeadNeckShoulderUpper BackArmsHand & WristLower BackHipsButtocksGroinThighsKneeShinCalfFoot & Heel
Athlete15%48%43%22%13%21%55%28%17%8%10%35%4%7%29%
Labourer19%60%53%30%21%31%62%32%20%10%14%42%5%8%33%
Musician14%54%46%22%18%32%63%30%11%10%11%37%4%6%35%
Office Worker21%59%50%30%14%23%63%35%19%12%14%38%3%8%30%
Pensioner13%43%38%24%17%31%61%39%19%17%21%51%6%11%30%
Retail Worker20%57%51%32%18%30%66%37%19%12%16%43%3%10%35%

Results for Both Sexes by Profession

ProfessionHeadNeckShoulderUpper BackArmsHand & WristLower BackHipsButtocksGroinThighsKneeShinCalfFoot & Heel
Athlete11%41%41%20%12%16%54%26%16%9%10%38%4%9%25%
Labourer18%55%51%29%19%28%61%30%19%10%14%43%4%9%30%
Musician14%52%50%21%18%30%60%30%11%10%10%41%5%7%30%
Office Worker18%55%48%28%13%21%62%33%19%12%14%38%3%9%28%
Pensioner11%39%37%20%15%28%60%37%18%15%19%50%5%10%28%
Retail Worker19%56%50%32%19%29%64%36%19%12%16%43%3%10%35%

Results for Men by Age

AgeHeadNeckShoulderUpper BackArmsHand & WristLower BackHipsButtocksGroinThighsKneeShinCalfFoot & Heel
18-240%20%30%30%5%0%60%10%25%0%10%25%5%20%0%
25-3420%49%39%38%7%12%57%25%24%15%16%29%4%22%16%
35-4416%43%48%29%19%12%52%30%15%15%10%31%4%14%21%
45-547%33%39%18%13%13%51%20%12%11%8%49%1%9%19%
55-647%35%43%14%11%15%58%28%18%10%17%45%4%10%22%
65-742%26%31%4%5%15%53%35%13%8%9%49%5%6%15%
75+8%23%22%8%8%20%59%20%8%2%18%43%1%7%15%

Results for Women by Age

AgeHeadNeckShoulderUpper BackArmsHand & WristLower BackHipsButtocksGroinThighsKneeShinCalfFoot & Heel
18-2442%73%51%53%4%4%53%27%13%7%9%49%4%7%9%
25-3429%67%48%38%11%15%64%22%16%5%8%30%7%7%20%
35-4434%67%54%38%17%24%66%33%20%11%14%30%3%7%27%
45-5418%59%53%29%18%25%60%35%18%10%13%38%4%8%33%
55-6414%51%45%25%16%31%65%35%20%14%18%48%4%9%34%
65-748%35%31%19%13%28%57%38%18%17%19%50%5%11%30%
75+4%31%29%16%15%25%64%40%22%21%29%58%7%12%24%

Results for Both Sexes by Age

AgeHeadNeckShoulderUpper BackArmsHand & WristLower BackHipsButtocksGroinThighsKneeShinCalfFoot & Heel
18-2429%57%45%46%5%3%55%22%17%5%9%42%5%11%6%
25-3426%61%45%38%10%14%62%23%18%8%11%30%6%12%19%
35-4430%61%53%36%17%21%63%32%19%12%13%30%4%9%26%
45-5416%54%51%27%17%23%58%32%17%10%12%40%3%8%30%
55-6412%48%45%23%15%28%64%34%19%13%18%48%4%9%32%
65-746%32%31%14%11%24%56%37%17%15%16%50%5%10%26%
75+6%28%26%12%12%23%62%32%16%13%24%52%5%10%20%

Liebscher & Bracht’s Tips for Pain Prevention

„One of the best ways to keep your body healthy is by regularly completing whole-body exercises which engage several different joints and muscles. Try special stretching exercises which are designed for instant pain relief.“

„If you often experience repeated movement patterns, e.g. frequently sitting in an office or moving heavy boxes from shelves, you would benefit from regular breaks to compensate your one-sided movements. After hours of sitting, it is recommended to stand up and tipp over the pelvis which automatically causes your back to be flexed backwards. This way you can prevent the most typical back pain caused by frequent sitting.“

„A healthy and balanced diet is an essential part of the treatment and prevention of pain. Ensure that you’re getting enough nutritional vitamins and minerals from as many food groups as possible to support the health of your muscles, bones and joints. Our recommendation is to switch to a vegan and plant-based diet for pain precaution and treatment.“

 

Methodology

The data for the study was collected via an online email questionnaire sent to 122,513 members of the Liebscher & Bracht mailing list. Invitations to the study were sent out to the mailing list in June 2017, and was closed on August 2017 with 7,974 responses received.

The questionnaire asked the respondents for their age, gender, profession and in which body parts they were experiencing pain. For profession and pain body region, the questions allowed multiple choices of six professions (plus “Pregnant”) and 15 body regions, as well as the option of answering “Other profession” and “Other region”, respectively. The results provided here only reflect the non-”Other” responses. Respondents who only provided “Other profession/region” were excluded from the final data. The final survey dataset contained 5,817 respondents.