The chiropractic neurologist can create a plan that is based on the individual’s needs, with the intention to promote positive neuroplasticity and gain function — without drugs or surgery
Chiropractic patients can receive more than pain relief from a chiropractic visit, A chiropractic neurologist can help promote positive neuroplasticity through adjustments, by relieving stress and possibly even reducing mental decline.
“Chiropractic neurology is a subspecialty of chiropractic practice. There are currently 11 specialties
recognized by the American Chiropractic Association,” writes Ron Boesch, DC, DACNB, and dean of clinics at Palmer Chiropractic Clinics. “A chiropractic neurologist diagnoses and treats a range of disorders affecting the nervous system. The therapy a chiropractic neurologist prescribes does not include drugs or surgery. Typical dysfunctions treated by a chiropractic neurologist include a variety of disorders affecting the peripheral nervous system, such as radiculopathy or other peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes. They also work with patients who have central nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis or post-stroke rehabilitation.”
Stress can cause inflammation which can accumulate in the spine, brain, and the nervous system. The brain protects itself by releasing adrenaline and cortisol. This can cause lowered immunity and poor reproductive health. If the brain keeps releasing these hormones over a period of time, they can damage the hippocampus and hypothalamus. Those damaged parts of the brain may not be able to produce optimum amounts of dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, and as a result the patient may experience anxiety, decreased memory, poor sleep, or depression.
Chiropractic neurology uses specialized treatment approaches that can improve function in the brain and in the nervous system.
Chiropractic neurologists use a number of assessments including:
- Videonystagmography, or VNG, which measures involuntary eye movement. This eye movement, called nystagmus, occurs when the brain gets conflicting messages from the eyes as well as the inner ear.
- Gait analysis can identify problems with a patient’s movement.
- Posturography determines a patient’s ability to control balance and posture.
- Saccadometry is a motor test that helps the chiropractor evaluate saccadic eye movement.
- Sanet Vision Integrators are computerized systems that can help vision and cognitive issues.
The chiropractic neurologist can create a plan that is based on the individual’s needs, with the intention to promote positive neuroplasticity and gain function — without drugs or surgery. Chiropractors and adjustments remove obstacles to healing by also changing eating habits, addressing any toxicities, and increasing or adjusting amounts of exercise.
“Having in-depth knowledge of both the central and peripheral nervous system makes the chiropractic neurologist a valuable resource for helping other clinicians in managing patients who have overlapping symptoms or who aren’t responding to care,” Boesch says. “Together with other health care providers on the team, they can help design a management plan that is specifically tailored to the patient’s condition.”
A three-year study was conducted using 100 volunteers, with researchers monitoring electroencephalograms (EEG) before and after chiropractic adjustment. The post-adjustment EEGs showed that participants had improvement of overall brain function after adjustment. Changes were seen in the primary motor cortex, the basal ganglia, the cerebellum, the sensory cortex, and the prefrontal cortex.
The brain and the spine work in tandem within the nervous system. The central nervous system can affect movement, senses, and thought, back-and-forth from the brain to the body. The peripheral nervous system manages digestion, heart function, organs and limbs, and nerves (including those nerves in the spine and brain). Adjustments can affect both the peripheral and central nervous system, promoting stress and physical pain relief.
Chiropractic adjustment can improve:
- Blood flow
- Ability to ward off colds or viruses
- Energy levels
- Heart and circulatory function
- Muscle function
“Nutrition covers not only basic good eating habits, but a nutrition plan may be designed based on conditions such as type 2 diabetes or other dietary-related disorders,” Boesch says. “There may be need for supplementation or modifying overall eating habits. Exercise recommendations will consist of specific exercises to improve function by starting with flexibility then moving to strengthening of the affected muscles. Rehabilitation will be part of this area to help retrain the proprioception of the joints so that they function better. Then of course there is general exercise for overall fitness that will be advised.”
To learn more about chiropractic neurology and certification go to acnb.org.