What is a Chiropractic Neurologist?

Within the chiropractic field, there are specialists in orthopedics, radiology, pediatrics, sports, internal medicine and neurology. A chiropractic neurologist is a licensed chiropractor who has additionally completed a 3-year course of study in neurology, including academics and practical training, and has passed a written and practical certification examination by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. There are currently less than 500 board-certified chiropractic neurologists in the world.

A chiropractic neurologist is qualified to diagnose and treat a wide range of neurological disorders which are problems involving the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The main difference between a medical neurologist and a chiropractic neurologist is that the therapies a chiropractic neurologist prescribes do not include drugs or surgery. Typical disorders treated by a chiropractic neurologist include neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, movement disorders such as restless leg syndrome, dystonia and Huntington’s chorea, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, learning disabilities such as ADHD, radiculopathy and neuropathy. Chiropractic neurologists have an advanced knowledge of “functional neurology” which is the study of the inter-relationships of an individual's nervous systems within the context of their overall health. Using embryological and anatomical relationships the functional neurologist diagnoses dysfunctions within related neural pathways and systems and utilizes those relationships to effect change within the nervous system. The treatment is directed towards activating the natural processes of neuroplasticity, which involves the changing of neurons, the organization of their networks, and their function via new therapeutic and rehabilitative experiences that enhance brain function.

What Therapeutic Advantage does a Chiropractic Neurologist Offer?

There’s an outdated belief that brain development takes place in childhood and then stops by the time we reach adulthood. Recent research has proven conclusively that the brain never stops adapting to environmental input. Sensory information gathered by nerves in the joints and muscles, for example, can alter the function of brain, which in turn affect the function of those nerves. The chiropractic neurologist is an expert in “brain-based” therapy modalities, that is, therapies directed by an understanding of the brain’s role in joint and muscle dysfunction.

The human body has many types of sense receptors, which are used to gather information about the environment around us and within our own bodies. You’ve probably heard, for example, about the taste buds, which we use for detecting flavors. You may not know about mechanoreceptors, receptor cells sensitive to mechanical stimulation such as stretch, pressure, and touch. We have mechanoreceptors in our skin for touch sensation and also in our joints and muscles for a less-well-known sense called proprioception. Proprioception is the mostly unconscious sense that allows your brain to know where your body parts are and what they’re doing, whether or not you are looking or paying attention. Your sense of proprioception is at work if you close your eyes and touch your finger to your nose. All of the sense receptors are connected to nerves that ultimately connect to the brain. As sensory input is relayed through the nervous system, it continuously changes the function and structure of the brain. The brain uses sensory input to regulate the body, constantly sending information and instructions back to every part of the body, including the receptors that first collected the sensory information.

All of the sense receptors, muscles, joints, and nerves, in concert with the spine and brain, form a solitary, integrated system in perpetual communication with itself. The deceivingly simple of walking requires a complex interchange of information throughout all parts of the system. With each step, mechanoreceptors send information to your brain about the movement and position of your joints. Your brain interprets this information and formulates commands to send back to your body. The perfectly orchestrated shifting of your body weight from one foot to the other with muscles turning on and off in precise timing keeps you upright and walking instead of tripping or falling over. This unconscious process occurs at a frenzied pace and is dependent upon the proper alignment of joints and muscles.

In this balanced system, a change in one part will affect all the others. For example, the biomechanics of a joint can be altered by repetitive stress, injury or poor posture resulting in a condition known as subluxation. When there is subluxation, a cluster of harmful physiological and structural consequences may result: 1. Decreased stimulation of mechanoreceptors in and around the joint results in insufficient information sent to relay areas in the brain, which leads to deficient control of the muscles. That can result to weakness in postural muscles, due to inadequate activation of the nervous system and not from a lack of exercise. Decreased stimulation of mechanoreceptors can lead to decreased activation of major nerve pathways and relays in the brain and lead to deterioration of function of seemingly unrelated areas of the brain. This occurs via a process known as diaschisis, which occurs when an area of the brain “upstream” from a connected area is not working optimally due to decreased stimulation or metabolism and the “downstream” areas receive inadequate stimulation as a result. 2. Poor or inadequate motion of a joint results in atrophy of surrounding muscles. The deepest layer of muscles around a joint can are mainly activated when the joint moves. If those muscles weaken, the joint loses stability and perpetuates a vicious cycle. 3. The surface muscles tighten in compensation to the deep muscle atrophy increasing often resulting in painful muscle spasms.
The chiropractic neurologist is a specialist in assessing the health of the entire loop connecting the muscles, joints and nervous system, and in identifying dysfuntion in each part that can lead to problems elsewhere.

What Treatment does a Chiropractic Neurologist Prescribe?

Depending on the nature of the dysfunction, the chiropractic neurologist may work directly on the joints, muscles, or nervous system. The treatment may include chiropractic adjustments, neuromuscular re-education exercises, or stimulation of the vestibular (balance), auditory, visual or other sensory systems and cognitive exercises some of which use computers.

What Unique Skills does the Chiropractic Neurologist bring to the Art of Joint Manipulation?

Physical medicine practitioners such as physiatrists, osteopaths, physical therapists, and massage therapists have become aware of the benefits of joint manipulation or mobilization. What does a chiropractic neurologist have to offer that the others do not? All practitioners should have a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s overall condition before utilizing joint manipulation for treatment. Out of all the practitioners previously mentioned, only chiropractors receive four years of formal training in both the science of the biomechanics of joints and the art of joint manipulation. Additionally, only chiropractic neurologists have advanced specialized training in the interaction between the neurological and musculoskeletal systems. California Neurohealth uses stress radiographs — x-rays taken while, for example, the spine is fully flexed, extended, and bent sideways — to determine the movement ability of a joint. This technology allows the objective visualization of the dysfunctional biomechanics of the joint being manipulated, as well as the healthy biomechanics of normal joints. The use of stress radiography increases the diagnostic accuracy, safety and specificity of treatment and ultimately accelerates the healing process. We are honored and grateful to help guide you to achieve your health goals.

What is the History of Chiropractic Care?

American Chiropractic Association
The roots of chiropractic care can be traced all the way back to the beginning of recorded time. Writings from China and Greece written in 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., also published texts detailing the importance of chiropractic care. In one of his writings he declares, "Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases". In the United States, the practice of spinal manipulation began gaining momentum in the late nineteenth century. In 1895, Daniel David Palmer founded the Chiropractic profession in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer was well read in medical journals of his time and had great knowledge of the developments that were occurring throughout the world regarding anatomy and physiology. In 1897, Daniel David Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic, which has continued to be one of the most prominent chiropractic colleges in the nation. Throughout the twentieth century, doctors of chiropractic gained legal recognition in all fifty states. A continuing recognition and respect for the chiropractic profession in the United States has led to growing support for chiropractic care all over the world. The research that has emerged from " around the world" has yielded incredibly influential results, which have changed, shaped and molded perceptions of chiropractic care. The report, Chiropractic in New Zealand published in 1979 strongly supported the efficacy of chiropractic care and elicited medical cooperation in conjunction with chiropractic care. The 1993 Manga study published in Canada investigated the cost effectiveness of chiropractic care. The results of this study concluded that chiropractic care would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually with regard to work disability payments and direct health care costs. Doctors of chiropractic have become pioneers in the field of non-invasive care promoting science-based approaches to a variety of ailments. A continuing dedication to chiropractic research could lead to even more discoveries in preventing and combating maladies in future years.

What is the Chiropractic Philosophy?

American Chiropractic Association
As a profession, the primary belief is in natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of chiropractic have a deep respect for the human body's ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of Chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.

What is a Chiropractor's Scope of Practice?

© HYPERLINK "http://www.amerchiro.org/media/"American Chiropractic Association
Doctors of Chiropractic frequently treat individuals with neuromusculoskeletal complaints, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disk conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. However, the scope of conditions that Doctors of Chiropractic manage or provide care for is not limited to neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors have the training to treat a variety of non-neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as: allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, otitis media (non-suppurative) and other disorders as new research is developed. A variety of techniques, treatment and procedure are used to restore healing which will be the topic of future education releases.

What sort of Education do Doctors of Chiropractic have?

American Chiropractic Association
Doctors of Chiropractic must complete four to five years at an accredited chiropractic college. The complete curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. Approximately 555 hours are devoted to learning about adjustive techniques and spinal analysis in colleges of chiropractic. In medical schools, training to become proficient in manipulation is generally not required of, or offered to, students. The Council on Chiropractic Education requires that students have 90 hours of undergraduate courses with science as the focus. Those intending to become doctors of chiropractic must also pass the national board exam and all exams required by the state in which the individual wishes to practice. The individual must also meet all individual state licensing requirements in order to become a doctor of chiropractic. An individual studying to become a doctor of chiropractic receives an education in both the basic and clinical sciences and in related health subjects. The intention of the basic chiropractic curriculum is to provide an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the human body in health and disease. The educational program includes training in the basic medical sciences, including anatomy with human dissection, physiology, and biochemistry. Thorough training is also obtained in differential diagnosis, radiology and therapeutic techniques. This means, a doctor of chiropractic can both diagnose and treat patients, which separates them from non-physician status providers, like physical therapists. According to the Council on Chiropractic Education DCs are trained as Primary care Providers.