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What do Francesco Totti, Vincenzo Nibali and Roberta Vinci all have in common?

Italians are sporty, but pay little attention to muscle health

  • A Doxa Marketing Advice – Dompé survey paints a picture of a sporty nation: 86% of Italians under the age of 55 do sport, 33% for health reasons and 28% to stay in shape;
  • When it comes to sports-related issues, 53% of Italians tend to look for information on relevant websites, 42% on social networks and 31% on dedicated blogs and forums;
  • However, there is little awareness regarding sports-related injuries: although 48% have experienced them, only 38% consider it necessary to pay special attention to this issue when they go back to playing sport in the autumn. Special attention is paid to muscle contracture: 61% believe that they have experienced it, but would not be able to recognise the symptoms.
  • Stopcontratture.it, Dompé’s new digital hub devoted to sport, offers advice from experts from the Italian Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine for correctly identifying and treating muscle contractures, as well as tips for practising sport responsibly.

Milan, 5 October 2016. What do Francesco Totti, Vincenzo Nibali and Roberta Vinci all have in common? They are all champions in different disciplines who have built successful careers in sport by focusing on their muscles, an essential asset that people need to take care of in order to avoid unpleasant injuries. This is especially the case for the 86% of Italians aged between 18 and 54 who do regular sports activities throughout the year, according to a survey carried out by Doxa Marketing Advice on behalf of Dompé regarding Italians’ behaviour and attitudes towards sport.

Italy, a sporting nation

Italians devote a lot of time to physical exercise, above all in order to stay healthy (33%), to keep fit (28%) and to release the tension they have built up in the course of their daily activities (16%). This is the picture that emerges from the survey conducted on a representative sample of the active Italian population.

53% do sport at least 3 times a week and 54% do it throughout the year, especially outdoors (62%). When defining their training programme, 47% of respondents report that their coach is their main point of reference, while 30% consult “Mr. Google”.

The percentages are even more striking when it comes to general issues regarding sports activities: 53% of Italians visit relevant internet sites to find information, 42% look for information on social networks and 31% visit blogs and forums.

The research highlights how sport is now a constant activity for the majority of Italians: they do it not only for its aesthetic/functional benefits, but also because they see it as an efficient, smart way to take care of their health, – stresses Massimo Sumberesi, Director General of Doxa Marketing Advice. Generally, when it comes to sport and injuries, there is a lot of ‘do it yourself’: the web is increasingly becoming an open window for advice and suggestions, and more attention is paid to the reliability of sources. In fact, many are interested in the creation of new sites where you can find referenced information.”.

Little attention to muscle health

Although 48% of Italians have suffered various types of injury, only 36% say they pay special attention when returning to their sporting activities after the summer break and 35% use self-diagnosis.

Perhaps this is the reason why, although 73% claim to be convinced that they immediately knew what injury they had suffered, there is still underlying confusion about specifics, especially on the subject of muscular contractures. 61% say that they have suffered from muscular contracture, but would not be able to distinguish it from a cramp, tear or bruise.

The focus on muscle contractures

For those who do regular physical exercise, contracture is a response mechanism to very intense exertion and may result from excessive stress on muscle groups, from a state of muscle fatigue, from insufficient training or warming up, from the presence of joint problems, from irrational, violent movements, or from insufficient physical preparation. It should not be confused with the typical inflammation resulting from an injury and needs to be dealt with using an approach that acts directly on the muscle. 70% of respondents said that they had used an anti-inflammatory remedy regardless of the nature of their injury.

Muscle contracture, as you can easily infer from the name, is an involuntary contraction of one or more muscle groups and is often linked to trauma or microtrauma that can occur during all sports activities”, explains Professor Deodato Assanelli, President of the Italian Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine (Società Italiana di Medicina dello Sport e dell’Esercizio - SIMSE)It is characterized by widespread alteration of muscle tone and a feeling of stiffness and pain in the muscle, combined with a sense of fatigue and increased muscle tone. It is key that people are able to quickly recognise contracture, without confusing it with classic inflammation, so that it can be properly treated”.

Here are 3 simple rules that experts advise you to follow in order to reduce the risk of suffering from muscle contractures:

  • dedicate sufficient time to warming up before subjecting muscles to any exertion.
  • follow an exercise routine that allows you to achieve your goals without overdoing it.
  • maintain a healthy lifestyle, starting with diet.

Dompé’s commitment to athletes

To provide Italians with answers and information about sports activities, correct training and muscle prevention, biopharmaceutical company Dompé is launching the www.stopcontratture.it site, new digital hub that is constantly updated with information and news on the subjects of sport and muscle contractures, created. in collaboration with the experts of the Italian Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine (Società Italiana di Medicina dello Sport e dell’Esercizio- SIMSE).

"When we talk about health, I believe that the commitment of a company like Dompé should be substantiated, both in its search for answers to unsatisfied needs and in constantly open dialogue with the patient, - remarks Eugenio Aringhieri, CEO of the Dompé Group. "Our work aims to promote wellbeing through two guidelines that we consider fundamental.
The first is increasing the wealth of shared knowledge, embodied by consultations with health professionals, hence the collaboration with SIMSE for this project. The second is constant focus on the incremental innovation of our therapeutic solutions, in order to continue to provide the right response to the right patient".