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WHY YOU MIGHT HAVE EXPERIENCED MORE BACK PAIN DURING THE LOCKDOWN…

The Metro wrote that a third of people in the UK have experienced more pain during lockdown, according to a new study. The research, conducted by Nurofen, found that since we have been spending more time at home, more people have been experiencing backaches (36%), headaches (34%), joint pains (27%), neck aches (26%) and muscle aches (24%).

The researchers suggest that is caused by an unexpected pain paradox associated with the perceived ‘benefits’ that come with lockdown living. But what is causing these chronic aches and pains? At the top of the list of triggers is stress – which was the main cause for 50% of people surveyed. Which comes as no surprise, because living through a global pandemic is pretty stressful to say the least.

However a number of lockdown ‘benefits’ were also listed as surprising triggers of pain. These included having more time for: Watching more TV and films (39%) Hobbies (like DIY and gardening) (21%) Looking after children (12%) Exercise and fitness (16%) Whilst lockdown enabled people to spend more time at home with their families, this may have increased pain suffering as 12% of respondents attributed new discomfort to increased childcare hours.  Younger people (aged 25-44) said they experienced more back pains and headaches, in comparison to those over 45, says The Metro.

This age group were also more likely to claim that their increased pain was caused by a poor work from home set up and more time looking after their children; perhaps as a result of juggling work with home schooling. On top of this, 50% of all respondents claimed stress was a key factor in their increased pain, which might have been a reflection of the lockdown climate. DIY and gardening, which may have been a result of new found leisure time was cited by more than a fifth (21%) as causing more acute pain. 39% believe the increased time spent in front of TVs, computers or laptops has been causing their pain. In fact, more screen time may also have had other consequences, with 35% believing changing sleep patterns and 33% thought less physical activity also worsened their pain. Some people used the new time gained to improve their health and fitness during lockdown, but this may have led to further pain as 16% of respondents felt exercise had increased their aches.

The survey also found that 60% of people want more advice on how to deal with pain, and 39% have not relied on any sources of information to help manage their pain – turning to GPs and pharmacists for help has decreased. To avoid making lockdown more painful and allow people to enjoy their pastimes, The researchers are now urging people to follow NHS advice and have developed the ‘Three P’s of Pain Management’ to help people take action when pain strikes. Proactivity – Be proactive, don’t let acute pain persist Identify pain triggers and address them. Be conscious of your pain and take action. Pain Relief – take positive steps to find a solution that works for you. And finally Prevention – help to avoid future pain occurring

Source : The Metro

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HOW THE COVID SYMPTOM STUDY APP and NHS COVID-19 APP ARE DIFFERENT – and WHY YOU NEED BOTH!…

A message from Professor Tim Spector, On behalf of the The COVID Symptom Study team.

On the 24th September, the NHS COVID-19 app launched across the UK, as part of the NHS Test and Trace service and NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service. We are aware that this new app has been causing some confusion as lots of you have been in touch, so we wanted to briefly explain how the two apps are different and why you need them both.

The COVID Symptom Study app

As most of you already know, the COVID Symptom Study app is a global public science project supported by the UK government and crowd-funding, with more than 4.2 million participants providing vital health data to help researchers and the NHS understand and beat COVID-19. And it’s thanks to your ongoing support since March that we have been able to achieve some pivotal successes in the fight against COVID, like: getting loss of smell recognised officially as a major COVID symptom (as well as delirium as a key symptom in frail older adults), rapidly identifying local hotspots ahead of time, providing the government with daily data updates and much more!

The COVID Symptom Study asks you, our study participants, to log daily health updates across a wide range of potential symptoms. We invite participants to book an NHS test if they report symptoms (including but not limited to the ‘classic’ three) that might be caused by COVID-19. Please note, the COVID Symptom Study does not have any contact tracing or QR check-in facilities. It cannot access your phone’s Bluetooth, GPS, location data or contacts, and does not track you as you move around.

The NHS COVID-19 app

Unlike us, the NHS COVID-19 app has been created to support the government’s efforts to control the spread of the virus through testing and contact tracing. It has a basic symptom checker, which includes the three ‘classic’ symptoms, to help identify people eligible for a test. It also notifies users if they’ve been in ‘close contact’ with someone who then tests positive for coronavirus and allows them to check in to venues using a QR code.

The bottom line

The apps are totally separate and entirely compatible, meaning you can and are highly encouraged to use both to help us all get through the pandemic.

It’s important for as many people as possible to keep using the COVID Symptom Study app to monitor their health on a daily basis and contribute to vital research into the pandemic. You can also log on behalf of family and friends who aren’t able to use the app, including children and the elderly.

We need everyone to play their part to help us all get through this. We urge you to download and use both apps to help us get through COVID-19 over the months ahead.

More details on why we need both apps here.
Keep safe and keep logging.

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SEEING YOUR GP DURING COVID-19 & HELPING WITH RESEARCH…

Dr. Sarah Jarvis MBE, and Clinical Director at Patient recently wrote how we must NOT ignore any concerns about our own health or a loved ones health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Whatever you are worried about, be it a lump, pain or an ongoing health condition, you should seek help through your GP. GP surgeries across the UK are open via phone or video calls so check your GP’s surgery to see how they are making appointments.

You can also arrange a remote GP & Pharmacy appointment through Patient Access in many locations. The Patient also has details on how to get the most out of your GP appointment.

Also on Patient is a link to contribute to COVD-19 research by telling the NHS about your current experience of COVID-19. There is also the app which I previously wrote about and I check in on it daily.

Download the C-19 COVID Symptom Tracker App and self report daily. Help slow the outbreak. Identify those at risk sooner. 

Take 1-minute to self-report daily, even if you are well to help the scientists identify high risk areas in the U.K. who is most at risk, better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions. See how fast the virus is spreading in your area. 

By using this app you’re contributing to advance vital research on COVID-19. The app will be used to study the symptoms of the virus and track how it spreads. 

This research is led by Dr Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and director of TwinsUK a scientific study of 15,000 identical and non-identical twins, which has been running for nearly three decades. 

The COVID Symptom Tracker was designed by doctors and scientists at King’s College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals working in partnership with ZOE Global Ltd – a HealthPost science company.

They say ‘We take data security very seriously and will handle your data with huge respect. Your data is protected by the European Union’s “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR). It will only be used for health research and will not be used for commercial purposes. You can read more about how your data will be used, your rights and the steps we take to ensure it’s protected in our privacy policy or in the FAQ‘ 

You can read more at King’s College LondonBBC NEWS, The Guardian, and The INDEPENDENT

Available from the App Store or Google Play.