If you turn on the TV, the radio, or streaming Internet long enough to get to a commercial break, you’re likely to be bombarded by pharmaceutical advertisements. If you’re breathing, there’s probably a prescription someone somewhere thinks you need. If you weren’t feeling somewhat ill or uncomfortable before listening to the advertisement, there’s a good chance you will afterward. You may be left thinking, “what’s a person to do?” If your body isn’t feeling well or working the way you expect it to, what are your options?
In a recent FastStats report released by the Center for Disease Control, 48.7% of Americans have used at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days. And according to that same report, 74.2% of the visits to a physician’s office in the United States involve drug therapy. With these high rates of prescribing medications, the odds are good that you’re likely taking a prescription medication now or will be. Is this normal? Is it helping?
The pharmaceutical industry is large and lucrative. In fact, the United States is the world’s largest pharmaceutical market. According to SelectUSA, the pharmaceutical industry, directly and indirectly, supports about 4.4 million jobs in the United States. Much money is invested in the research, development, marketing, and administration of prescription medications. While these drugs are meant to help heal the body, relieve pain, and save lives, it’s not unusual to forget that there are other ways of approaching how we can care for our bodies when we’re experiencing pain.
The prescription drug industry has been in existence a relatively short time. What we know as the pharmaceutical industry today, began in the 1870s. Before prescription drugs, people used other effective means to reduce and relieve pain.
Finding drug-free options to reduce pain and increase overall wellness begins with a different approach to health. Rather than focusing on symptoms and looking outside of our bodies for healing, we can start by looking at the conditions that caused the illness or pain within our bodies. As we gain a better understanding of the cause of our conditions, we can often take steps toward better health.
Drug-free alternatives are often simple and easily overlooked, but they can also be highly effective and inexpensive. So what are some of these options? Depending on your current health, you could find pain relief and increased wellness from:
• Movement in the form of exercise or yoga stretches
• A healthy diet that reduces inflammation
• Restful sleep
• Chiropractic care
No matter which type of treatment you choose to help heal your body, consult with a health care professional to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the options you are considering.
If the list above surprised you by including chiropractic care, you’re not alone. Most people don’t know that, unlike physicians who may prescribe surgeries or drugs, chiropractors approach healing by using their hands to perform chiropractic adjustments. These adjustments are meant to improve spinal function and thereby alleviate pain, relieve muscle tension and reduce joint irritation.
Chiropractic care is often associated with alleviating back pain. It is also helpful for treating other conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, such as mobility issues and some types of headaches. For people suffering from chronic low back pain, the American College of Physicians now recommends first using a non-invasive, non-drug treatment before resorting to drug therapies.
The Future of Health Care
While the pharmaceutical industry continues to evolve, some people are beginning to question our nation’s reliance on prescription drugs. Are you one of them?
If you would like a career in health care that allows you to prescribe a way of living rather than a bottle of pills, connect with an advisor today at Cleveland University-Kansas City to learn how you can be the difference in health care.