Is back and neck pain ruining your sex life?
If you are suffering from neck or back pain you are far from being alone. According to research by pharmaceuticals manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline published this year, eight out of 10 Australians are suffering from extreme discomfort not only for short periods of time but from the moment they wake until the time they hit the hay. With pain now such a widespread problem, it's unsurprising that this has a knock-on effect on the mood of the nation, not to mention an impact on our sex-drive.
The study found that continual pain made a huge 67 percent of people surveyed feel irritable, 66 percent also felt frustrated and 56 percent felt distracted. Worryingly, more than a third of those questioned felt that it attributed to depression. The findings did not only uncover the impact on our demeanour but had implications on our sex lives too.
What happening in your state?
From state to state, sore backs are having a knock-on effect on sex-lives with the libidos of South Australians suffering the most. Almost 30 percent of those surveyed in the state admitted to pain slowing down their bedroom antics, while those in Tasmania ran a close second with 23 percent complaining of flagging lust lives. The least-affected state was Queensland where only 13 percent complained of lacklustre love-making which is something given they rated second from the top on the number actually suffering from back and neck pain!
Rekindling the flame
According to Anne Hollands, CEO of Relationship Australia, the effects of back pain are huge for the patients' loved ones too. "Pain and discomfort can have a very negative affect on people's moods, putting pressure on their relationship," she says. "When people are feeling irritable, frustrated and distracted it's hard to put a 100 percent into your relationships, as well as your work and other commitments."
Hollands is quick to point out that as well as the physical effects of pain being primarily addressed, the emotional strains mustn't be neglected. Her top tips are simple, suggesting we firstly need to open the lines of communication to allow those close to us understand the situation.
"When someone doesn't understand the extent of your pain and how it is affecting your mood, it can be taken very personally," Hollands says. On top of being open, spending more quality time together is a must. If pain prevents physical intimacy, emotional closeness should be worked on be it through enjoying romantic meal, watching a movie or even something as simple as playing cards.
So where does all this pain come from?
The top 10 reasons that cause all these aches and pains in Australia are attributed to the following:
- injury from an accident
- working long hours at a computer
- sleeping in an awkward position
- manual labour
- poor posture
- spinal problems
- being overweight
- repetitive movements