What Is Chiropractic Neurology?
Chiropractic Neurology is a three year post-doctorate specialty that focuses on optimizing the function of the nervous system using conservative, non-pharmaceutical based methods. We use the patient’s body and environment to assess, diagnose and localize areas of dysfunction. The human body systems are constantly affecting the neurological system and being effected by the neurological system. We use this functional and holistic approach to target interventions specific to the location of the dysfunction.
The chiropractic neurologist uses the muscular skeletal system and the sensory systems as they interact with the neurological system to improve quality of life. They use a variety of treatment modalities including the technique of adjustment as well as other sensory-based modalities to bring about improvements in health.
THE NEUROPLASTICITY CONCEPT
A key concept in understanding this approach is “neuroplasticity”. Nerve connections in the brain are considered “plastic” because they can be shaped or modified by sensory, motor, cognitive or emotional experiences . Simply put, what you are exposed to can rewire your nervous system.
The basic unit of the nervous system is a nerve cell called a “neuron”. There exists over 100 billion neurons in the human body, each one having a specific function and connection to other neurons, forming extensive electro-chemical circuits and highways of communication.
While this system was once considered “fixed”, we now know that this vast collection of nerve cells is capable of remarkable change. For example, by repetitively firing a pathway from one neuron to another, we can expect an increase in the number of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) produced by the “talking” neuron as well as an increase in the number of receptors on the “listening” neuron (synaptic plasticity). Furthermore, a nerve cell can grow connections to new neurons (synaptogenesis) and can even extend to far reaching areas (neuronal migration). This is essentially how we learn a new skill and why “practice makes perfect”.
Rehabilitation of the Nervous System
In the developing brain, as well as in the adult, research has confirmed that we have the ability to create new neurons (neurogenesis), a process long considered impossible. It is now also known that if an area of the nervous system is damaged, not only is regeneration achievable, but other nerve cells can take over the function of the lost neurons (functional reorganization). For example, a person who has suffered a stroke of the language centers of the brain may still regain the ability to speak.
It is important to note that neuroplasticity can also develop negative consequences. If an area of the brain is not stimulated or if a neuronal pathway is not fired, neurotransmitters and receptors may diminish, connections between distant neurons may be withdrawn and nerve cells may eventually die. The saying, “use it or lose it”, is indeed, a neurological fact.
A basic premise of Neurology is to support healthy plasticity of the nervous system through proper stimulation and fuel. Treatment is aimed at not only protecting the nervous system, but giving it the activation that it needs to thrive. We now know that even a nervous system that is functioning poorly can be rehabilitated, often with progressive and permanent success.
Our Neurology Approach
The treatments are brain-based and follow the principles of neuroplasticity, the notion that the nervous system can change according to the stimulation it is exposed to. For example, a patient with balance problems may be found to have dysfunctions in various parts of the nervous system. If the source of the problem is at the level of the cerebellum, We may recommend gym ball training, spinal adjustments and eye movement exercises. By following a specific rehabilitation strategy, the function of the weak cerebellum can be strengthened, improving the person’s balance and restoring proper function.
From the information collected, we will determine the proper treatment that is specific for you and your condition, or if your condition would be more appropriately managed in conjunction with, or by, another health care professional.
Although we do not employ medication or surgery, he will work with any other specialists you may be seeing to ensure a cooperative and integrative approach to your health goals.
Treatment is tailored to your specific needs according to the results of your initial consultation and exam. Treatments may change from visit to visit depending on each specific case. There exist a wide variety of methods that can be used to stimulate your nervous system and improve its function. These may include:
- Specific adjustments to the joints
- Eye exercises
- Light, sound, smell and touch stimulations
- Oxygen Therapies
- PEMF Therapies
- Functional EEG
- CLEAR MIND PROTOCOL
- Balance and vestibular rehabilitation
- Muscle therapies
- Physical exercises
- Cognitive training
- Nutritional and supplement recommendations
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