Do you notice your staff stretching or doing neck rotations periodically? Chances are they have been dealing with that pain in the neck for more than six months.

According to new research by physiotherapy group, Core Concepts, 49% of Singaporeans experiencing pain have lived with it for more than six months. This is despite, 92% of the 264 respondents surveyed agreed that pain interferes with various aspects of their daily lives and causes a negative impact on the quality of life.

In particular, the media release noted that persistent pain (where pain lasts for more than three to six months) the constant suffering alters an individual's mood, concentration, sleep patterns, and even their relationships with others.

Despite this, a sizeable number of Singaporeans (33%) will only start treating pain after experiencing it for a few weeks.

Interestingly, younger Singaporeans are more likely to treat pain promptly. The survey revealed 18% of Millennials aged 25-35 years old will treat pain immediately or almost immediately, while only 6% of baby boomers (56 years old and above) will do the same.

Weighing in on this finding was Victor Khoo, Managing Director, Core Concepts, who pointed out that younger Singaporeans tend to be more well-educated on personal health and are more exposed to the different types of treatments available on the market.

He added: "For older Singaporeans, the belief that pain is an intrinsic part of ageing tends to influence their decisions on seeing a professional. They tend to seek treatment only when pain has significantly affected their ability to carry out daily activities."

On a whole, 48% of Singaporeans have revealed that they will only start to treat pain when it is affecting their daily routine, especially in areas such as sports and exercise, walking and climbing stairs, housework and self-care.

Chng Chye Tuan, Senior Principal Physiotherapist, Core Concepts, noted: "When pain is not treated, our bodies will naturally find ways to compensate for it, but often at a cost. The process of compensation can alter the body’s movement patterns and be locked in as muscle memory, affecting the way we naturally move in the long run."

When Singaporeans do seek help to treat pain, the most popular treatments include exercise and stretching, topical pain skin applications and medication.

However, the treatment that provided the most relief (93%) was physiotherapy-related treatments such as manual therapy. As these treatments tackles the root cause of the pain, it method respects the body’s healing timeframe and provides long-term relief, Chng explained.

He concluded that more Singaporeans should be aware of the importance of seeking prompt treatment.

"When pain persists for prolonged periods of time, there may be physiological changes in how pain is being processed and the magnitude of pain may be more than what is expected. If the pain does not go away after more than two weeks with appropriate rest, it is a telling sign for patients to seek professional help to uncover the root cause of the pain," Chng said.

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