Chiropractic Functional Neurology
Chiropractic Functional Neurology is a post-doctoral certification obtained through the Carrick Institute of Graduate Studies. The technique was started over 30 years ago by Dr. Ted Carrick utilizing a brain-based scientific approach in caring for complex conditions. A chiropractic neurologist uses the patient’s body and environment to assess, diagnose and localize areas of dysfunction within the nervous system. These areas of dysfunction affect the human body in a myriad of ways, resulting in a vast array of symptoms. We use a functional and holistic approach to rehab the areas of dysfunction with specific interventions. Modalities of intervention include chiropractic adjustments coupled with receptor/sensory based modalities to improve dysfunctional areas of the nervous system, thus improving one’s quality of life.
Becoming a Chiropractic Neurologist takes over 300 post-doctoral hours of coursework in functional neurology. Once these are obtained, the doctor must pass a rigorous written and performance exam certified by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (ACNB). In order for one to pass the exam, countless hours of additional studies and preparation are made to meet the demands of becoming a Diplomate of American Chiropractic Neurology Board.
The ACNB is the sole specialty board recognized by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). The ACNB is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is known for being one of the top quality accrediting agencies in the nation.
What to Expect as a Patient
Each patient will undergo a detailed history and examination performed by the doctor. The exam will include a full neurologic work up, testing a patient’s musculoskeletal, sensory systems, and more. Each patient undergoes a Visual Eye’s evaluation that records one’s eye movements required to function in day to day activity. Next a patient’s vestibular/balance system will be evaluated with the HUMAC system to obtain quantitative data, such as fall risk assessment. Additional cognitive (IMPACT Testing) and metabolic assessment may be obtained based on an individual’s needs.
Diagnosis and Evaluation
Once the exam has been performed, the doctor will gather the pieces of information obtained to provide a patient with the area(s) of the nervous system that is/are dysfunctional. It is this diagnosis that differs a chiropractic neurologist from any other practitioner. The exam allows the doctor to localize the area of dysfunction to the following areas: cortex, basal ganglia, brainstem, cerebellum, spinal cord, peripheral nerve and/or end organ receptor. Additional considerations include: infectious disease, autoimmune, vascular, inflammatory and/or cellular failure.
Patient Care and Treatment
Treatment is a receptor based therapy that includes a diverse array of techniques to promote neuroplasticity in the dysfunctional areas of the nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments are combined with specific functional therapy. Functional therapy may include, but is not limited to: physical exercises, eye exercises, cognitive tasks, peripheral nerve stimulation, balance exercises, kinesiotaping, timing exercises, primitive reflex remediations, and light, sound or smell stimulation. Each therapy is targeted to the individual’s needs based on their diagnosis.
Evidence Based Care
Due to the unique approach of chiropractic functional neurology, many wonder how it works or what kind of evidence supports it. One of the main factors supporting our work is basic clinical neuroanatomy and functional pathways of the human nervous system. This has been documented in countless texts over the years. If one cannot feel their left foot, then the issue may be in the nerve itself, the spinal cord, brainstem or cortex. Other aspects of dealing with dysfunctional areas of the nervous system are supported by the papers linked in the right column. These papers are just the tip of the iceberg, as one can imagine decades of work, knowledge, and techniques could not be described in one paper alone.
Learn more about the VISUAL EYES system that allows us to record and asses the function of each patient’s eye movements.
HUMAC Balance Analysis
The HUMAC system allows the office to assess ones vestibular system and provide quantitative feedback on patient progress.