Recession is a pain; hurts our backs, sleep and sex lives!

If you're like the majority of Americans, the recession has had an impact on your life over the last year. Maybe you started mowing your own lawn, fixing your own car or working a second job to make ends meet. These changes put more cash in our wallets, but according to a new survey from the American Pain Foundation, these actions and the the recession have taken a toll on our health.

In a survey taken in late July the Pain Foundation found that 68% of respondents blamed the recession for back pain or sprained muscles; 37% reported that the economy had a "big" impact on their pain. The increase in intensity or onset of acute back pain and muscle sprains doesn't just come from all the physical labor of saving money. It comes from the increased stress that many Americans have felt over the past year.



Interesting statistics about the impact pain and the recession has on our lives from the American Pain Foundation survey:

  • Close to one in three (29%) Americans said working harder, either at home (17%) or on the job (17 %), had a big effect on their pain.
  • Among parents who reported they suffered from acute back pain or other types of minor muscle strains or sprains, half (50%) reported that their pain impacted the quality of their personal life, including the ability to spend time with friends and family.
  • More than one-fifth of respondents (21%) said health problems related to the recession -- like sleeplessness, eating habits or cutting back on healthcare –- had a big effect on their pain.
  • Four out of five (78%) sufferers of acute back pain or other minor muscle strains or sprains reported that their pain had an effect on their quality of life, impacting everything from their work life to their ability to take care of other health issues to their sexual desire.
So how do we all cope with pain in tough times? According to the survey 57% of people tried to "tough it out" and 90% tried some form of home remedy before seeking medical advice. The problem with toughing it out is that it's hard to tell when you need to give in and go get medical help attention, but we have some info to help you decide.

Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic and chief medical consultant for the nationally syndicated "Dr. Oz Show" shared the following tips with WalletPop to help you treat acute back and muscle pain brought on by stress.

Treating pain at home is easier than you think and it doesn't even require a hot and cold pack; in fact tuning into some Bob Marley and slicing a pineapple will get you on your way to feeling better in no time.

Dr. Roizen shared that music has been proven to decrease pain and even lift depression, but you'll have to tune into classical, reggae or rock to get these benefits. Why the pineapple you ask? Good question, the island delicacy contains bromelain enzymes which reduce inflammation, providing pain relief. Best of all, the good doctor assures us, you'll even experience these benefits if your pineapple comes in a mai tai.

Self medicating is a fine solution to start with, but according to Will Rowe, CEO of the American Pain Foundation, "Proper treatment is important to prevent chronic pain or other conditions from developing. When in doubt, people should seek out a healthcare professional for treatment."

So how do you know when to put down the pineapple and call a professional? Dr. Roizen is providing a tool at RealAge.com that helps you figure out if you have a sprain or a strain, and what to do about it. If you end up needing more treatment than your local reggae bar can provide, you can find a $30 off coupon for a pain patch from the Real Age website.

Still looking for ways to alleviate financial stress? This video from Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz will give you some tips to get started.

So if you're feeling the pain of a poor economy make sure you take care of your body while you're taking care of your finances otherwise you'll pay for it later!

If you want to make a difference and commit to conquering pain, Saturday September 26th is the National Day of Action for Pain Awareness. You can get involved in improving the access to appropriate and effective pain care for all by visiting the American Pain Foundation's Conquering Pain Web site.

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