Non-surgical, conservative treatments such as chiropractic care, Reiki and physical therapy can help restore proper nerve and body function to allow the body to heal naturally. Surgery, and the risks it carries with it, can sometimes be avoided.
How is chiropractic care considered a conservative treatment method?
Dr. Ken Freedman: This is a very interesting topic, Liz, because, you never hear people say, “Wow, I want to go and have surgery right away.” Most people would rather avoid surgery, and that’s a pretty smart move, whenever possible. Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary, but if you can avoid surgery, that’s the best approach to take, and chiropractic care can really help many people. To answer your question, compared to traditional medicine, chiropractic care is absolutely the safest form of healthcare, and it’s not just because I say so.
If you look at the actuarial rates of malpractice premiums, which reflect risk levels, they’re the lowest for chiropractic care. They’re really a fraction of what MDs pay for the same levels of coverage. Having surgery and taking drugs is risky business. Complications can easily occur. Liz, can you guess what the third leading cause of unnecessary death in the US is yearly?
It’s medical errors.
Dr. Ken Freedman: In fact, medical errors would probably have a higher ranking, but many medical physicians don’t even report medical errors on death certificates. Chiropractic care is considered a conservative and safer approach, because it’s the approach that chiropractors take with their patients that’s different. It’s different from the medical approach in that the medical approach is mechanistic. In other words, it works to regulate the symptoms and disease and malfunction in the body, from the outside in.
Put a drug in from the outside. Go from the outside in and take out a part of the body that needs to be there in order for your body to work well. Traditionally, medical doctors have used drugs and surgery. Lately, I’ve seen more MDs getting into using vitamins and herbs and diet and exercise to treat conditions, because the complications are fewer and patients tend to be more receptive to them.
The problem is that treating symptoms, by cutting out diseased parts, or using drugs or even nutrition to treat that condition, doesn’t really make you any healthier. It really doesn’t address what allowed your body to weaken and malfunction in the first place. The chiropractic approach is considered a vitalistic approach. It’s based upon the scientific fact that the body is an integrated and interconnected group of systems that are controlled by the energy that flows over the nervous system.
Research shows that if you interfere with the flow of this energy, it impairs healing and it impairs function. In chiropractic care, people undergo a painless checkup to detect and locate interferences to the flow of this energy. The most common form of energy interference is called the vertebral subluxation complex, or subluxation for short. Using a variety of techniques, chiropractors adjust subluxations to improve the body’s ability to self-heal and function optimally.
This is an inside-out approach focused on wellness. Chiropractors are also licensed to provide nutritional advice and offer rehab and exercise programs, which improve their patients’ response to care and overall health.
What are some other forms of conservative treatment?
Dr. Ken Freedman: Some other forms of conservative care are Reiki, massage therapy, nutrition, rehabilitative exercises and stretches, yoga, meditation.
Can you name some conditions that are usually slated for surgery but respond well to non-surgical conservative treatment?
Dr. Ken Freedman: I’m a little reluctant to answer the question as you’ve posed it to me, Liz, because it’s not like, “If you have this condition, don’t have surgery, go get conservative treatment first.” I can tell you that since 1979, being in practice and taking care of thousands and thousands of people over the years that I’ve been in practice, I’ve seen people considering surgery and then coming to me first, who’ve had terrible back pain or knee pain or numbness and tingling in their hands and feet, people who suffered from hiatal hernia, and carpel tunnel syndrome, people who were going to have c-sections, even people who had cancer, who didn’t require surgery.
Not necessarily because the chiropractic treatment was used in place of the surgery, but because it enabled their body to self-heal, and they were able to heal themselves by functioning better.
I know you just mentioned it, but have there been other cases where surgery has been avoided after a patient sought out conservative treatment?
Dr. Ken Freedman: Yes, I’ve just explained, as you said, I can tell you that it’s probably one of the most rewarding things for me being in practice, is to see people who are fearful, not only because of the risk involved, but also because of the expense, and because of what surgery means, to be able to heal themselves and be restored.
What are some important reasons people should try to avoid having surgery if possible?
Dr. Ken Freedman: People should avoid having surgery whenever possible because it’s the highest-risk medical procedure, and a lot can go wrong. Recovery can be painful. It can take a long time. It’s expensive. You know the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States today are medical costs, medical expenses, so it’s expensive. Besides, for what you’re paying, you’re not really getting your health restored, Liz, you’re just getting a malfunctioning or diseased part removed. Sometimes, that can be life-threatening. It gets to the point where it can be too late and you need a surgeon and you need medical care, so I’m not advocating that you not go for surgery or get medical care, but it’s not making you healthier. It’s just taking you out of harm’s way.
I know of somebody who didn’t check the oil in their car, and it damaged their engine so badly that it needed to be replaced. They didn’t have their car for weeks. They had to get an extra job to pay for the work. Don’t you think it would have been a lot smarter and more cost effective to take the car in periodically for oil changes and tune ups?
RC: Right, right.
Dr. Ken Freedman: Liz, your body is the vehicle that your life travels in. Regular chiropractic checkups along with eating right and exercise and thinking good thoughts and getting your rest are the best ways for your children and you to prevent illness and disease. If you do become ill, chiropractic care will support your body’s ability to get the most out of whatever medical care you may require, but also to help it heal faster and more completely, and more importantly, have a consistently better quality of life.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Ken Freedman, visit www.freedmanchiropracticcenter.com or call (732) 254-6011 to schedule an appointment.