That’s what we do– affect the central nervous system. We affect segmental spinal cord reflexes. That has an immediate segmental response back to a muscle, back to a joint, out into the periphery, and into the central nervous system. In addition to spinal adjustments, chiropractic neurologists employ such therapies as auditory stimulation using music or sounds; visual stimulation using various frequencies of red, green, and blue; and alternating pen-light stimulation. These are brain-based exercises. We use many aspects of integration of the brain, brain stem, spinal cord, and feedback loops along known pathways to affect the central nervous system.¹
Typically, a chiropractic neurologist serves in the same consulting manner as a medical neurologist. The difference is that the therapies or applications of a chiropractic neurologist do not include drugs or surgery. As a result, certain conditions are more customarily seen by a chiropractic neurologist, as opposed to a medical neurologist, and vice versa. Specifically, we see patients with a variety of movement disorders, dystonia, post stroke rehabilitation, and radiculopathy or nerve entrapment syndromes that are consequences of peripheral or central types of lesions. Chiropractic neurologists can provide therapies as well as counsel, when there is a diagnostic dilemma or a question of appropriateness of care.²
Chiropractic neurologists treat patients of all ages. Older patients often arrive at the clinic with mental or physical disabilities due to brain-based dysfunction, with or without spasticity, weakness of muscles, or motor neuron diseases. Many patients suffer signs and symptoms of pinched nerves, pressure on the spinal cord, or more serious central nervous system disorders resulting from stroke, injury, or disease. Young patients are the subject of exciting new research into learning and other neurologically based activities related to the effectiveness of non-invasive methodologies associated with chiropractic. For example, chiropractic neurology has successfully treated attention deficit disorders without drugs. Doctors isolate aspects of the brain that are not developing or functioning properly and determine the appropriate therapeutic approach.
When should a patients be referred to a chiropractic neurologist? Most doctors recommend a referral when conditions do not improve in patients who complain of dizziness, headaches, tingling, or apparent seizure or spasticity in the arms or legs; who have suffered any type of traumatic injury, stroke, slip or fall, or motor vehicle collision; and who are experiencing pain syndromes, motor recruitment, or gait problems. Referrals may be warranted for patients that have minimal progression or a stop in progress during care. In addition, referrals are advisable in the case of altered states of consciousness, such as depression, anxiety, coma, or pseudocoma.³
¹JACA, pp. 8-14, June 2000
2 NeuroPractice, September 1998, 5 (9)
3 JACA, pp. 8-14, June 2000