I’ve seen several Aleve ads recently. They feature people who like to play sports that are a little more advanced in age than most athletes. That sounds great initially – these are not the usual supermodels that we see put out to project an image of health. Advertisers are recognizing that their clientele is aging, and they’re being represented.
But things get fishy pretty fast. In one of the ads, a guy says that his sport is so important to him that he’ll never stop playing. Who doesn’t admire someone who never gives up, and wants to have good health no matter what his/her age? There’s just one huge problem with that. The very clear implication is that if you’re older, and you can’t live without playing your sport, just take Aleve, and you can keep on going forever. The ad copy is probably designed to stop just short of making that claim explicitly enough for them to get sued. So maybe they can get away with this legally. The misleading but non-actionable claim is a rhetorical device that advertisers have used since ads began.
And they’re counting on people believing this nonsense. Many people actually will believe it, such as the people whose approach to health is 100% drug-based. I have relatives that think this way. They won’t be reading this anyway, as being fit isn’t a priority for them. 🙂 When you have pain, your body is telling you that there’s something wrong, not that it’s time to take drugs. If you’re playing a very vigorous sport like basketball, roller derby, or volleyball, and you’re really sore, you’re on your way to being injured unless you recover properly. See your doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, or other qualified health professional before continuing. Don’t just start gulping pills. Please.
I’m not talking about avoiding all exercise when you have a mild ache. Say, 1 out of 10 on a pain scale. I will do this myself sometimes. Most of us have mild aches now and then. Right now my shoulder is very slightly off, for instance. I will continue if the exercise does not increase the mild pain, or I may choose to train around it instead, while it gets better.
It’s possible that the health professional may give you the OK to exercise with a certain amount of pain, and even to take that pain relief product. In very mild cases of arthritis, for instance, in some cases continuing to exercise is valid therapy. But being qualified to watch commercials does not qualify people to make critical decisions about serious pain management.
The first priority of drug companies is selling product any way they can; your health is a lesser consideration. Get informed, consult the appropriate health professional, and ask questions.