Australia leads the world in body pain blues

  • Australia tops the list for body ache prevalence in global pain study
  • The Global Pain Index finds two-thirds (65%) of world’s adults experience body pain every week, with (22%) labelling it ‘severe’
  • Findings shed new light on how body pain reduces quality of life

New research shows that 97 percent of Australians suffer from body aches, with a massive two thirds (68%) experiencing it at least weekly, higher than the other 13 countries included in the survey.  Findings show pain impacts our social life, love life, performance at work and ability to parent.

Despite nearly two thirds (62%) of Australians saying that body pain decreases their quality of life, few do anything about it. Seventy percent of Australians accept pain as part of life and nearly two thirds of us (60%) simply ignore it.

The Global Pain Index, a first-of-its-kind study on the attitudes of body pain that surveyed 7,000 adults across four continents, reveals at least [88%] of the world’s population suffer from pain.  The study finds the ripple effect of body pain is widespread and people from all participating countries feel that pain impacts most aspects of their daily lives. 

According to GSK Consumer Healthcare Medical Affairs Director, Dr. Amar Inamdar, body pain has both a physical and mental impact on people’s everyday lives.   

“Many Australians have a reduced quality of life because of body aches, like back pain, neck aches and sore muscles,” Dr. Inamdar said. “The study shows that people are annoyed, frustrated and unhappy because of pain which effects their relationships, performance at workand how they parent.”

Would less pain make us better parents?

Two thirds [67%] of parents believe they would be doing a better job if it wasn’t for body pain.  More than half [52%] have difficulty picking their children up,  [47%] feel they don’t spend as much time with their children as they like to, and [39%] get easily ‘annoyed’ with their children because of their pain.

Does pain impact your love life?

The global study found that the aches and pains of daily life are pouring cold water on the world’s love lives. It reveals that [49%] of Australians say their sex life is affected by everyday ailments like back pain, neck stiffness or muscle soreness.   Forty-two percent admit that regular body pain is making them feel less attractive while forty-three percent of sufferers who are sexually active feel guilty about their resulting lack of energy in the bedroom.

Is your career impacted by pain?

For many people, the impact of body pain goes beyond the home. Almost two-thirds [63%] feel pain affects their motivation and 38% say it limits their ability to perform their job at all.  Consequently, there’s an increase in sick days and with a distinct lack of motivation, Australia’s workforce suffers from the ‘ripple effect’ of body pain.

John Bell, Pharmacist says, “Pain is often preventable or treatable. The key is talking to your doctor or pharmacist to understand the causes and treatment options, including when to take medication, and which type of pain relief is most effective for the type of pain someone is experiencing. For example, I find that body pain is often caused by inflammation. In these instances I recommend an anti-inflammatory solution.”



Notes to Editors

For more information, including details of how body pain impacts particular aspects of our lives, such as relationships, parenting and work, please contact:

Tracey Taibe Natalie Craig
E: E:
PH: 0421 991 210 PH: 0404 825 462

Other findings from the Global Pain Index:

  • 97% of Aussies experience pain compared to 90% in the USA and 88% in Sweden.
  • 51% of Australians say the pain lasts several hours or more.
  • 23% of Australians rate the severity of pain as significant or more.
  • 34% of Australians think pain is a sign of weakness
  • 45% of Australians are ‘annoyed’ by pain, 46% frustrated, and 26% unhappy.
  • 61% of Australians feel pain regularly in the same area.
  • 94% of global respondents who experience pain feel it in either their back or lower back.
  • 73% of global respondents who experience pain know that inflammation is the leading cause of pain, but 49% wrongly believe that paracetamol effectively treats inflammation. 

About the Global Pain Index (GPI)

The GPI is a global study by GSK Consumer Healthcare, with the first edition completed on behalf of Voltaren®. It was conducted by global market research firm Edelman Berland across four continents and 14 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, UK and the USA). Fieldwork took place from November 2014 through January 2015 among 7,000 respondents adults aged 18+, including 500 from Australia. Visit  for more information.

About Voltaren®

Voltaren®, part of GSK Consumer Healthcare, is an over the counter anti-inflammatory pain reliever. The Voltaren® portfolio contains topical and oral products such as gels, and tablets, to help patients regain the Joy of Movement. Voltaren® is available in more than 130 countries worldwide. Diclofenac, the active ingredient is one of the world’s most widely-used pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medicines.

About GSK Consumer Healthcare

GSK Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest consumer healthcare companies, responsible for some of the world’s best loved healthcare brands including Sensodyne, Voltaren, Panadol, Polident, Otrivin, Horlicks and Physiogel.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.

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