Just as with other health professionals, doctors of chiropractic may choose to be general practitioners or become specialists. Through education, training and board certification, those doctors who choose to specialize devote their practice to a particular branch of health care, in order to assist members of their profession and of the allopathic profession in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions. Within chiropractic, doctors specialize in many disciplines, including radiology, orthopedics, physical rehabilitation and neurology.
Chiropractic neurologists typically serve in the same consulting manner as medical neurologist. One major difference is that the therapies of a chiropractic neurologist do not include drugs and surgery. Consequently certain conditions are more appropriately seen by a chiropractic neurologist versus a medical neurologist, and vise versa.
Chiropractic neurologists see patients with a variety of movement disorders, nerve entrapment syndromes (such as Carpal Tunnel), headaches and other pain syndromes, and general conditions that are consequences of peripheral or central nervous system disorders. Chiropractic neurologists are able to provide effective rehabilitation for many people who have undergone stroke or other brain trauma.
In addition to providing therapies and treatment for neurological problems, chiropractic neurologists can also provide counsel when there is a diagnostic dilemma or a question of appropriateness of care regarding a particular lesion or scenario.
The training to become a board certified neurologist in the chiropractic profession is an additional three years after the doctor's degree studies. This training is conducted under the auspices of an accredited university or college that is recognized by the U.S. Office of Education. Didactic and clinically based training are integral parts of the process. After completing the training requirements, the chiropractor sits for a board examination in neurology. The tested areas are specific to the field of neurology and include clinical and diagnostic techniques and knowledge of neurophysiology. The certification examination includes oral and practical portions as well as a battery of psychometric testing.
Nervous System Overview
The central nervous system consists of th brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system consists of nerves found in the head and body. The brain is designed to receive input from and send information to the body. Sensory input is by receptors, specialized nerve cells that respond to different stimuli. The sensation of touch is controlled by receptors that respond to compression and stretch. Receptors associated with touch have greater effect on the central nervous system than the receptors related to vision, taste, hearing and temperature. These receptors of touch ("mechanoreceptors") are found in the joints of the body, especially those of the spine, and are very sensitive to motion. If joints of the spine do not move freely, the activity of these receptors is suppressed. Consequences of this are a change in muscle tone coordination, brain activity, and an increase in pain.
What services are available?
Extensive examinations and neurological consultations are available, as well as nutritional evaluations for health and weight loss or gain. Treatment consists of specific neurological stimulation by therapies and adjustive techniques as dictated by the neurological condition of the patient. Our approach lies in the application of neurological principles within the chiropractic realm.
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic is not drugs or surgery; rather it is a hands-on method of treatment resulting in a change of function of mechanoreceptors in the involved joints to affect the nervous system. Recent studies in neuroanatomy confirm that mechanoreceptors have a direct effect on brain function.
The human brain develops through our neurological experiences, be it Mozart, Rembrandt, baseball, hot tubs, yoga, culinary sensations, a caress, meditation, fragrance of a rose, or a chiropractic adjustment. Nowhere is the phrase "Use It or Lose It" more applicable than in the nervous system. Chiropractic works by working the nervous system. Chiropractic works powerfully because the chiropractic adjustment is one of the most powerful inputs to the brain and nervous system.
Chiropractic therapy techniques are noninvasive and therefore constitute a conservative approach in the arena of health care. Should a patient not respond to chiropractic treatment, the option for more invasive approaches, such as drugs or surgery, is still available.
How long will it take?
We are all individuals defined by our genetics, history and attitudes. This individuality is evident in the variable response to treatment. A personalized treatment plan is designed for you based on your specific needs.
What can I expect?
Experiencing a change in location of symptoms (such as pain) during the course of treatment is common. As your body returns to a more healthy and balanced state, muscles that have been overused will relax and underused muscles will begin bearing their share of the load. Pain is not always a bad thing, because it is considered a warning signal for your body's sensory system. Be aware of these signals and bring them to our attention during your treatment.
What therapies are utilized?
Therapeutic methods utilized in our practice include chiropractic adjustments, hot packs, cold packs, ultrasound, therapeutic exercise, interferential, high volt galvanic, low volt galvanic, TENS, bracing, kinetic activities, trigger point therapy, intersegmental traction, manual traction, massage, myofascial release, neuromuscular re-education, activities of daily living training, Russian stimulation, electrical muscle stimulation, rehab ball, wobble board, rocker board, ergonomic evaluations for work and home, and resistance band therapies. These therapies are some of the tools we use to strengthen the nervous system and provide rehabilitation for affected tissue.