During annual holidays more people reach for a screwdriver or steam-cleaner than pack their bags for a short break, a new survey by the makers of Deep Heat and Deep Freeze has revealed, who have been easing muscular aches and pains for more than a century.
Top of the nation's to-do list is DIY and decorating, with four out of five (83%) of us catching up on anything from odd jobs to major makeovers around the home during the holidays. Over a third (36%) will get down and dusty with general DIY, a third (34%) will be painting and decorating and an ambitious few (3%) will even attempt to fit a new bathroom or kitchen. Deep cleaning was also high on the agenda, with one in three (33%) Brits planning a staycation to catch up on housework and other chores.
However the poll of 2,000 Brits, commissioned by the makers of Deep Heat and Deep Freeze, has also discovered a whole new definition for DIY — Don't Injure Yourself! Seven out of ten (68%) people quizzed for the survey confirmed that they, or their partner, had hurt themselves doing DIY or decorating. Two out of five (41%) had put their back out or were left suffering spinal aches and pains, more than a third (38%) admitted they ached after overdoing it and one in five (21%) had cut themselves.
Shockingly some DIY devotees are putting themselves at risk of serious or permanent injury, with one in ten (10%) suffering side effects from chemical fumes, 8% admitting to falling from a ladder and 3% giving themselves an electrical shock or getting paint or chemicals in their eyes.
Bizarrely, a significant number of hapless handymen and women know where they're going wrong. One in ten (10%) said they failed to follow instructions or research the right way to do the job, while one in five (19%) came to grief taking a shortcut. Curiously men are 29% more likely to attempt to cut corners, 22% compared to 17% of women.
And even though all painters and decorators know preparation is the key to a perfect finish, DIYers are not taking the same care with themselves, with more than a third (36%) confessing they hadn't prepared their bodies for the physical demands of their day of DIY. A similar number (30%) admitted they weren't used to physical work or were too out of shape (34%) for hard graft.
In all, almost three out of five said their fitness levels were below par with one in seven confessing their couch potato status by confirming they were both overweight and out of condition. Only three out of 50 (6%) of those questioned said their fitness levels were very good to excellent.
Perhaps not surprisingly one in five (20%) said their holiday plans consisted of doing as little as possible and over a quarter (27%) were hoping to settle into the sofa and watch lots of television.
Reassuringly, most (70%) of those surveyed possessed a first-aid kit and of those did, four out of five (84%) had treatments specifically designed for muscle problems or injuries. Almost half (42%) had a warming rub like Deep Heat, a quarter (25%) had strapping or some other form of support and one in six (17%) had Deep Freeze or some other form of cooling rub.
DIY and property expert, Grant James Crossley, says: "The good news is that so many people have helpful products like Deep Heat to hand, but the bad news is so many don't seem to realise that DIY can be a great form of exercise, and like most strenuous exercise there is a need to warm-up; this is where Deep Heat could help to head off those morning-after problems''
"Many sportsmen and women have wised up and now some use Deep Heat as an integral part of their warm-up routine, but if DIYers want to avoid morning-after muscle aches and pain they could also turn to it too."
The survey shows there is clearly room for improvement with four out of five (79%) of those questioned saying they had woken feeling stiff and sore after doing too much over the weekend and one in six (15%) complaining of frequent fallout in the form of aches and pains.
DIY and property expert, Grant James Crossley says: "There may be no escaping DIY and other household chores, but with a little preparation, and products such as from the Deep Heat range, there's a lot you can do to escape morning-after aches and muscle pain. Why waste a moment and write off the rest of the week when you could reach for proven prevention and relief?"
WHY WARM-UPS WORK
DIY and property expert, Grant James Crossley, adds: "The risk of muscle injury and aches can be significantly reduced if you prepare for the job properly with a warm up. Massaging Deep Heat Heat Rub into muscle before tackling any DIY tasks stimulate blood flow and could reduce the risk of subsequent soreness."
Anyone who has ever sought the soothing relief of a hot-water bottle knows that warmth can also work wonders — but the classic Deep Heat Heat Rub delivers relief via four active ingredients:
• methyl salicylate
• eucalyptus oil
• turpentine oil
Methyl salicylate is an aspirin-like drug with analgesic properties. It is absorbed through the skin and hydrolysed to salicylic acid, which interferes in the synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandins from arachidonic acid. Reducing local prostaglandin production reduces pain. In addition the analgesia action is achieved by a counter-irritant mechanism, which helps to mask the perception of pain. This counter-irritant action is thought to be mediated by the activation of A-beta nerve fibres which modulate pain signals transmitted by C fibres to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Pain signals compete with the 'heat' signals produced by topical application and the sensation of pain is reduced. The action of rubbing the skin increases the penetration of rubefacient into the skin, which disperses local tissue pain mediators and activates the A-beta nerve fibres so enhancing the analgesic effect.
Eucalyptus oil and turpentine oil help increase blood flow by dilating the blood vessel walls, so providing the muscles with more heat, oxygen and nutrients. , Together with methyl salicylate, these oils act as counter-irritants, stimulating the heat receptors in the superficial nerve endings to help trigger cells in the nervous system to transmit warmth signals to the brain. 20,24,25 These signals compete with, and dilute, the pain signals arising from the damaged tissue.
The menthol in Deep Heat Heat Rub, is both a counter-irritation and a local anaesthetic which works by depressing pain receptors in the layer of tissues that protect all the muscles that lie beneath the skin. When applied topically, Deep Heat Heat Rub provides an analgesic effect.
AND COLD COMFORTS
Cold analgesia comes into its own in the event of an acute injury such as a joint, ligament, tendon or muscle injury and cooling is at the core of the well established principles of PRICE:
P = Protect the area from further injury
R = Rest the injured part
I = Ice (apply cold therapy to injured body part)
C = Compress the injury area
E = Elevate the injured body part
PRICE is a well-established practice in first aid and primary care environments. These principles are most important in the first 72 hours following an injury and provide the tissues with the best possible environment for recovery, ultimately leading to a quicker return to normal mobility and freedom from pain.
The use of a cold analgesic product, such as Deep Freeze Cold Gel can be very helpful during these initial stages of muscle damage and inflammation. They help lower the temperature of the skin, underlying tissues , , and interior of the joint. As a result, this reduces the speed at which pain signals are transmitted, resulting in a local anaesthetic effect. This brings about a reduction in metabolism and helps slow the inflammatory process, leading to decreased swelling and reduced pain.6 Cold analgesia also acts upon the joint's basic peripheral pain receptors, and is thus useful for joint pain in general, irrespective of the cause.
Deep Freeze products contain a number of ingredients, such as analgesics, counter-irritants and cooling agents that achieve effective results in a convenient, easy to use format.
In summary, the benefits of using a cold analgesic preparation such as one of the products from the Deep Freeze Range include:
• Helping to reduce the blood flow to the damaged area
• Helping with the reduction of clot formation and tissue bleeding
• Helping to reduce the swelling
• Helping the reduction of inflammatory activity in cells
• Helping to reduce pain by stimulating the receptors in the superficial nerve endings to trigger the transmission of sensory signals to the brain which compete with and dilute the pain signals arising from the damaged tissue.
Leading physiotherapist, John Miles, says: "Beyond this initial 72-hour phase in acute injuries, the choice of hot or cold treatment — Deep Heat or Deep Freeze— is largely a matter of personal preference. Both work brilliantly for more generalised discomfort such as back ache and muscle fatigue."
FAST FACTS FROM DEEP HEAT AND DEEP FREEZE
Along with DIY, Spring cleaning was identified as a major a source of discomfort with one in five (20%) experiencing muscle pain or injury from a weekend of sweeping, scrubbing and scouring. Over the holidays a third (33%) of Brits are planning a staycation and not surprisingly, women are more than twice as likely to report pain problems following housework and other chores, 27% vs 12%.
A WIDE RANGE OF HELPFUL RELIEF:
Deep Heat Heat Rub product details: RRP for 35g is £2.59; RRP for 67g is £3.89; RRP for 100g is £5.19.
Deep Heat MAX Strength
Deep Heat MAX Strength has the same action as Deep Heat Heat Rub but contains more than double the amount of methyl salicylate. This makes it an effective thermotherapy remedy that generates a deep soothing warmth and powerful pain-relieving action, helping to soothe rheumatic pain, backache, sciatica, lumbago and fibrositis.
Product details: RRP for 35g is £4.79.
Deep Heat Heat Spray
Deep Heat Heat Spray is an effective pain-relieving, warming spray for the relief of pain in muscles, tendons and joints. It is particularly useful for hard-to-reach areas, such as the lower back and shoulders. Deep Heat Heat Spray contains four active ingredients: three salicylates (2-hydroxyethyl salicylate, ethyl salicylate and methyl salicylate) and methyl nicotinate.
The salicylates are converted to salicylic acid in the skin. Salicylic acid reduces the synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandins and so helps reduce pain.20 These salicylate ingredients, along with methyl nicotinate, also act as rubefacients, increasing the blood circulation to provide the muscles with more heat, oxygen and nutrients, and have a counter-irritant effect where the sensations of heat compete with, and dilute, the pain messages that are transmitted to the brain.
Product details: RRP for 150ml is £4.69.
Deep Heat Patch
Deep Heat Patch provides effective, warming relief from muscular aches and pains, joint stiffness and backaches for up to eight hours. Each patch contains iron and activated charcoal. When the pack is opened, the air activates a heat-generating reaction that produces a warming effect when the patch is applied to the skin. This local, superficial heat improves the circulation to the muscles, so reducing pain and stiffness.
Each Deep Heat Patch is active for up to eight hours after the pack is opened, providing long-lasting, deep-relieving warmth. With no smell and no associated grease, the self-adhesive patches are easy to apply and convenient for use during the day. However, patches should not be left on the skin while asleep as the skin might become too hot.
Product details: RRP for a single Deep Heat Heat Patch is £2.19; RRP for a pack of four patches is £6.55.
Deep Heat Patch for Back Pain
Deep Heat Patch for Back Pain has all the advantages of the Deep Heat Patch but is twice the size, so that it is ideal for the effective relief of back pain and aching muscles in the back. The self-adhesive patch is easy to apply, fits across the back and stays in place. However, as with the standard Deep Heat Patch, the Patch for Back Pain should not be left on the skin while asleep.
Product details: RRP for a pack of Deep Heat Patch for Back Pain containing two patches is £4.69.
Deep Heat Heat Rub, Deep Heat Heat Spray & Deep Heat Max Strength are medicines for the relief of muscular pain.
Always read the label.
Deep Freeze Cold Gel 2%w/w uses menthol and water to provide cold analgesia directly to the site of any injury, so is an effective treatment for stains, sprains and soft tissue injuries and should be used as part of PRICE (see section 4). The water cools by evaporation, while menthol acts as a 'counter-irritant', activating sensors in the skin that detect feelings of cold, which then send messages to the brain that dilute any pain messages that are being transmitted at the same time. In addition, the resulting constriction of the blood vessels (vasoconstriction) will help to reduce swelling and inflammation. Deep Freeze Cold Gel can be applied three to four times a day to joints, muscles and tendons.
Deep Freeze Cold Gel 2%w/w (containing racemic menthol) is a medicine for muscular aches and pains; always read the label.
Deep Freeze Cold Spray provides a convenient way to apply cold analgesia to hard-to-reach places, such as the back and shoulders, but can provide effective relief from the pain associated with sprains, strain and muscular pain. It includes pentane, butane and water, which each cool the skin by evaporation when applied to the body. Together they cause vasoconstriction and hence reduce inflammation and swelling, as well as providing pain relief by crowding out the pain signals with sensations of cold. Deep Freeze Cold Spray also includes menthol as a fragrance.
Deep Freeze Cold Patch offers initial, effective pain relief, just like an ice pack, and provides long-lasting cold analgesia to the site of pain. The adhesive patch is applied simply and easily, and can be worn without restricting movement or needing to be replaced frequently to maintain the cooling effect.
The Deep Freeze range, available from supermarkets and pharmacies, includes:
• Deep Freeze Cold Spray – RRP £3.79
• Deep Freeze Cold Gel – For 35g RRP £2.49, for 100g £4.79.
• Deep Freeze Cold Patch – For single patch RRP £1.65, 4 pack RRP £5.59