The Truth Hurts

- Shows where it hurts and how far people will go to eliminate pain [infographic] -

STERLING, ILL. (April 24, 2013) —Americans are hurting, and this time it’s not because of the economy. A new online study conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Wahl Clipper Corporation in February 2012 reveals the vast majority of American adults experience muscle and joint pain—and in more than one place. The study uncovers how people deal with their pain and how far they would go to eliminate it. The highlights can be found in a new infographic: The Truth Hurts.    

“Pain is a growing issue that affects people of all ages,” said Jenny McLaughlin, product manager for Wahl, the company that invented the electric massager. “As a leading manufacturer of pain management tools, we’re committed to helping people better manage their everyday aches and pains. It starts with understanding the issue.”

A representative sample of more than 2,000 men and women nationwide were asked to share their pain—specifically, where it hurts, how often, how much and how they deal with it. The results suggest that if pain were a disease, it would be an epidemic.

Where it hurts
More than eight in 10 Americans have experienced muscle or joint pain over the past 12 months, and 75 percent have it in three or more places. While the numbers show that the most common pain points are lower back, shoulders/neck and joints, to call them common is an understatement.

Not only do nearly 7 in 10 people report pain in these areas, but of those who do, about half experience it at least once a month. The highest percentage faces this pain on a daily basis.

The breakdown of where people experience pain:

•    78 percent experience back pain
•    74 percent experience neck/shoulder pain
•    68 percent experience joint pain
•    65 percent experience leg pain
•    60 percent experience foot pain
•    57 percent experience arm pain

Who’s in pain
Geographically speaking, pain is consistent. The Midwest and South have the highest incidence of pain at 87 percent, but the Northeast and West are not far behind, 84 percent and 83 percent, respectively. In the battle of the sexes, pain is an equal opportunity employer. Women experience it more than men, but by a slim margin, 87 percent to 84 percent. However, women lead in all pain points with the exception of arms and other pain.

Marriage might be bliss, but it can come at a painful price. Those who tie the knot experience about 10 percent more pain than single/never married people.  And the notion that children can be a pain in the neck does not actually ring true, as those with kids are just as likely to have pain in that area as those without.

Not surprisingly, pain favors those who are older, however, the margin is not as big as might be expected— 9 in 10 people 55-plus experience pain, but so do nearly 8 in 10 people 18-34. Pain levels remain steady between the ages of 18 and 44. And that’s when things start to get a little bumpy. Once a person turns 45, their likelihood to report having pain increases about 10 percent, specifically in the shoulders/neck, lower back and joints. By age 55, the likelihood of not having pain is about 1 in 10.  

How people deal with their pain

When it comes to treating pain, the majority of people, 64 percent, do more than one thing.  While 70 percent of pain sufferers turn to medication, either over-the-counter or prescription, 40 percent also take matters into their own hands by way of hot/cold treatments or simply taking it easy. 1 in 5 people in pain also use massage therapy and 17 percent seek medical attention.

Men and women deal with their pain very differently. While most do something to treat their pain, men are almost twice as likely as women to do nothing at all, 13 percent versus 7 percent.

What people would to do to eliminate their pain*
If given the opportunity to trade their pain for something unpleasant, more than half of Americans say bring it on. Based on options provided, 84 million Americans would rather pierce their tongue, have a root canal or give a speech in their underwear.

New technology and resources to manage pain
As a pain management leader, Wahl offers tools and resources to help those experiencing recurring muscle and joint pain get the relief they need. The company’s line of pain management massagers now includes two new temperature therapy products—the Hot-Cold Massager and Hot-Cold Massaging Gel Pack—that combine two common pain treatment methods for a more comprehensive approach to managing everyday aches and pains. In addition, Wahl has introduced a new resource,, which provides massage treatment guidance based on a person’s specific pain point or condition.  

“Pain is as prevalent as ever and while most Americans are taking steps to fight it, it persists,” said McLaughlin. “Every situation is different, but we know from listening to people about what does and doesn’t work that the best chance for relief is a comprehensive approach.”

To learn more about Wahl, Wahl’s new pain management massager line and online resource, or the new infographic, The Truth Hurts, visit

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Wahl Clipper Corporation from February 15-19, 2013 among 2,252 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Patrick Kopischkie at
*Numbers based on the United States adult population 234,564,071 from the 2010 US Census Bureau Survey.

About Wahl

Now in its 93rd year, Wahl Clipper Corporation is an international industry leader in the manufacturing of products for the professional beauty and barber salon trade, consumer personal care and animal grooming.  Headquartered in Sterling, Ill., Wahl currently employs some 2,000 people worldwide in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain and the United States. Wahl products are available in 165 countries around the world. For more about Wahl, please visit

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods and serves clients in more than 215 countries and territories. For more information, visit

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