A chiropractor specializing in functional neurology begins their work by assessing how joints and muscles send sensory input to the brain. This information tells the nervous system whether the body is in balance.
Chiropractic functional neurology uses emerging rehabilitative techniques that improve neurological function. It has gained widespread attention after being used to treat the career-ending concussion of hockey player Sidney Crosby.
Integrative care means that clinicians from different areas of expertise work together to coordinate your care. This allows for better communication and reduces the chance that important aspects of your care will be missed or fall through the cracks.
This integration of healthcare modalities is particularly effective in cases where the problem originates within the nervous system (spinal cord, nerves, and brain). Chiropractic neurology is a subspecialty of chiropractic that incorporates functional neuroscience.
A chiropractor trained in functional neuroscience assesses groups of nerves to determine how well they perform. He then uses brain-based exercises to improve their performance. The improvements in these groups of nerves are often associated with reduced or eliminated symptoms. This approach differs from traditional spinal manual therapy because it has no prescription pharmaceutical or surgical component. This unique approach is supported by basic clinical neuroanatomy and modern understandings of the role of visual, vestibular, proprioceptive, and cortical integration in neurodevelopment, neurotrauma, and neurodegeneration.
Chiropractic Functional Neurology is an advanced, brain-based approach to assessing and treating neurological conditions. It incorporates similar training as medical neurology but differs in its assessment, treatments, and therapies.
The doctor can locate areas of dysfunction within the nervous system using various diagnostic technologies, such as saccade testing (the speed, latencies, and accuracy of eye movements), spinal manipulations, and vestibular/balance tests. These areas are the root cause of many health issues.
These issues include cognitive dysfunction, such as Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD. It also provides eye movement dysfunction, such as myopia and presbyopia. It can also help resolve autoimmune diseases, respiratory problems, and thyroid problems. In some cases, it can even treat conditions typically deemed more appropriate for traditional medical care, such as migraines and chronic pain. For example, Integrated Health Systems doctors are trained in functional neurology.
When you have a health issue involving the brain or nervous system, you must seek care that can correct and improve function. This is the approach taken by functional neurology.
A chiropractic neurologist is trained to assess groups of nerves and determine how well they are functioning. This assessment is based on objective science like computerized posturography, videonsytagmography, and saccadometry. It also includes a detailed patient history and clinical examination using the latest diagnostic techniques.
Once the exam results are known, a neurological-based chiropractor can design individualized treatment plans for each patient’s needs. This is a more comprehensive approach than traditional chiropractors, which often consists of treating only the spine. While this strategy may provide temporary relief, it is not the best approach for long-term success. Instead, patients with complex issues involving the brain or nervous system need a holistic strategy that provides both treatment and prevention.
While medical neurology relies on a diagnosed disorder to treat patients, chiropractic functional neuroscience focuses on treating dysfunctional brain and nervous system areas. This means patients often get better results when compared to medical neurologist or neurosurgeon treatment methods.
Joints and muscles have sensory receptors called proprioceptors that send unconscious sensations to the brain about your position and movement. This information is critical for survival and helps the brain keep track of your body in space to prevent falling, a leading cause of accidental human death.
Chiropractic neurologists assess the function of these nerves by using evaluations including balance and coordination, eye position/movement tests, muscle strength testing, cranial function analysis, reflex testing, and radiography. Patients can find long-term relief from many health issues that have not responded to conventional treatments by assessing and correcting these imbalances in the brain and nervous system. For example, migraines, ADD/ADHD, TMJ, and vertigo are treated with chiropractic neurological care.