Functional neurology, also known as chiropractic neurology, is the practice of assessing and treating dysfunction of the nervous system without drugs or surgery. Many conditions can be assessed by studying how your brain functions using non-invasive diagnostic tools in our office. Because of this there are a wide range of problems we see. By evaluating what nervous system dysfunction is present we can begin to enhance the function of the areas involved with customized exercises and activities. Brain rehabilitation has dramatic effects on behavior, mood, movement, cognition, and general well-being.
As this ABC Nightline special on Dr. Ted Carrick illustrates, functional neurology is changing the way we address health issues of all types.
The affects of chiropractic adjustments on the brain are immense. A functional neurology exam allows us to assess the status of your nervous system in order to safely perform an adjustment. In fact, we can enhance function of the involved area of the brain by providing the right kind of sensory input based on a well performed exam.
A typical chiropractic examination includes a spinal, orthopedic and basic neurological assessment. A functional neurology exam expands upon this, analyzing eye movements, balance, coordination, reflexes, brain stem function, and higher cognitive functioning. The results of these tests are then assessed in relation to your problem so that the proper treatment plan can be implemented. Since the eyes are a great window into brain function - a fact demonstrated by scientific studies for decades - they are of great importance during the functional neurology exam. For example, we can provide sensory input to the brain with sound, sight, or movement (such as turning in a chair) and assess the change in brain function by observing eye movements. Some other tests we commonly use include assessing posture, how you walk, blood pressure in different positions, balance, hand or foot coordination, and looking at facial tone. These observations are signs obvious only to a trained functional neurologist and provide great understanding about how different parts of your brain are functioning.
Functional neurology treatment still utilizes the use of chiropractic adjustments as chiropractic treatment does. The difference is that the neurological exam will guide a functional neurologist to the best treatment method for that particular person and test the brain afterward to confirm. Functional neurological analysis allows us to see objectively which therapy provides the greatest improvement. Other methods of treatment in addition to chiropractic adjustments include eye exercises, vestibular rehabilitation, specific body movements or exercises, sound therapy, and visual therapy. Ultimately, chiropractic adjustments are great for wellness care and staying healthy. However, some individuals may not be ready for this stage of care due to the degree of nervous system dysfunction.
Functional neurologists do not necessarily treat conditions, they treat the nervous system dysfunction present that results in symptoms. Conditions we see in our office range from movement disorders like dystonia to musculoskeletal conditions like chronic low back pain. Above is the list of conditions in which we specialize. Feel free to click on the links to learn more information.