A survey of 2,000 adults on behalf of charity Nuffield Health shows that 45 per cent are in pain at least once a week, rising to almost three quarters (71 per cent) at least once a month. Of those in pain, more than three quarters (77 per cent) said it negatively affected their everyday life.
Despite this, 59 per cent did not seek help from healthcare professionals, according to the survey.
People are as likely to turn to the internet for advice as visiting a health professional. Young people between16 and 24 years are five times more likely to self-diagnose than see a trained professional.
Liz Adair, director of physiotherapy at Nuffield Health, said: ‘Our physiotherapists often see people who have done more harm than good by trying to deal with pain themselves, or by not doing anything at all.
‘The research suggests there could be serious long term implications of failing to act, including an over-reliance on pain medication.’