Reactive vs Preventive Medicine
When you go to the chiropractor, depending on the style of practice they run, you may hear a lot of talk about preventive care vs reactive medicine. Preventive, when used as an adjective in the context of medicine, means “designed to keep something undesirable such as illness, harm, or accidents from occurring”. Reactive medicine is focused on treating symptoms after they show up. If you woke up one morning with a fever, you’d consider going to the hospital or clinic where you’d probably get prescribed some antibiotics to fight the infection.
Chiropractic care is very often reactive, too. The chiropractic field is a leader in pain management and neuromusculoskeletal symptom relief. If you wake up with back pain, chances are someone will recommend you go visit the chiropractor, but an important factor to consider is investing in your health before there is a problem versus after.
Costs of healthcare?
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in 2019 the US spent 4.6% more than previous years on healthcare. This spending came out to 3.8 trillion dollars.
$3,800,000,000,000.00. That averages out to $11,582 per person.
That 3.8 trillion spent on healthcare means that the United States spends more money on healthcare than any other country. (The Commonwealth Fund)
One other article, published in The Lancet in 2018, stated that the US human capital ranked 27th in the world. That is a 21 position decrease in the past three decades. We spend way too much money on healthcare to have worsening outcomes.
So when we talk about preventive medicine, it revolves primarily around lifestyle. Food is fuel. Sleep is recovery. Movement is medicine.
Up front, it may seem investing in higher quality groceries, less processed foods, a membership to the local gym, and visiting your primary care provider be it an MD, DO, or DC, isn’t worth it. It turns out that spending on preventive care actually saves you money as compared to reactionary treatment.
What does living a preventive & healthy lifestyle life look like?
In modern society, the convenience of highly processed foods and the dopamine punch of social media and streaming services makes living a healthy lifestyle much more difficult. It seems to make the healthy choices seem more mundane, and frankly, more effortful. Here are some things to keep in mind and stay on top of your health.
- Don’t smoke. That includes cigarettes, cigars, vaping, e-cigarettes, and marijuana.
- Eat whole foods rather than highly processed products. Examples are eating fresh fruits instead of fruit snacks or a fruit bar.
- Rinse your produce before eating it.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a major risk factor for a laundry list of diseases.
- Be physically active. You don’t need to be the next Cross Fit champion but you do need to strive for 30 minutes a day of physical activity, that is outside of your normal routine. If you stand and walk at work, that is great but try to add in something new.
- Find a hobby that you love.
- Find a community to get involved in. Whether that is people in your neighborhood, the hobby you enjoy, church, etc.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Get regular check-ups with your physician.
- Come get adjusted and get moving better at Foundation Chiropractic & Wellness.
If you follow the above steps consistently, you will absolutely change your life for the better. More than likely, it’ll save you money on healthcare in the long run, too.