Note: This article makes numerous references to “Chiropractic Neurology” and Chiropractic Neurologists”. These terms are used the the USA where, in many States, neurology is a recognised specialty of chiropractic. In Australia no such recognition is in place, and chiropractors are prevented from differentiating themselves from other chiropractors. As such all references to “specialty”, “specialisation”, “specialist”, “Chiropractic Neurology” and Chiropractic Neurologists” are descriptors of the state of the chiropractic profession in some overseas jurisdictions, are used for information purposes only and are NOT a claim that any chiropractor at the Eastern Brain Centre is a neurologist, a specialist or holds specialist qualifications. Any description of training or practice on this website is a statement of fact only and is not meant to imply any “specialist” registration is held.
Many people are becoming curious about “Chiropractic Neurology” and Chiropractic Neurologists”. This article seeks to answer some of the questions that arise.
What is Chiropractic Neurology?
In some areas overseas, Chiropractic Neurology is recognised as a specialty within chiropractic. In Australia, no such recognition is in place. Like other neurologists, Chiropractic Neurologists seek to diagnose neurological (brain and nervous system) disorders and either treat or refer as appropriate.
Where Chiropractic Neurology differs from conventional approaches is its emphasis on so called functional brain problems. While most people are familiar with lesions in the brain like strokes and tumours, many are not familiar with the concept of functional issues. Research is suggesting that functional brain problems may underlie many common neurological conditions like concussion, migraine, balance problems and learning disorders.
Chiropractic Neurological Education
To be recognised as a Chiropractic Neurologist in the USA, chiropractors must complete rigorous postgraduate training. This is in addition to the 5 years of University level undergraduate training. This involves a minimum of 300 hours of classroom time, plus many hours spent in study and practice. On completion of the study period, the candidate must then successfully complete theory and practical examinations with the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. This leads to the qualification Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (DACNB). Maintenance of the DACNB qualification involves ongoing Continuing Professional Development each year.
Is it the same as Functional Neurology?
Functional Neurology is a term used by some people to describe the practice of Chiropractic Neurologists, and as such is often used interchangeably.
Chiropractic Neuro-Rehabilitation Treatment
Chiropractic Neuro-Rehabilitation is the treatment applied by chiropractors with the aim of rehabilitating the nervous system. Treatment can involve many approaches, much of which differs from the “traditional” chiropractic adjustments or manipulation (though they may still be used). Treatments include:
- Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy
- Visual exercises
- Nutritional and diet interventions
- Cognitive exercises and games
- Biofeedback such as Heart Rate Variability Training
- Reaction time training
Interventions may be prescribed for home use as well as application by the chiropractor in the clinic.
Many people have claimed that there is no research supporting Chiropractic Neurology, mistaking a professional descriptor as a treatment approach. Medical practitioners prescribe a multitude of different approaches depending upon the patient’s condition. The scientific evidence supporting these can vary from non-existent to excellent. So too with the evidence for Chiropractic Neurology. The approach used depends upon the patient’s needs. Some interventions have little direct evidence supporting their use, whereas others are backed by high quality research, for example Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy and Neurofeedback.
While none of the practitioners at our centre are “Chiropractic Neurologists”, particularly as the term is prohibited in Australia, we do utilise many of the same methodologies. If you would like more information about whether these methodologies could help you, please get in touch.
Margach RW. Chiropractic Functional Neurology: An Introduction. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2017;16(2):44-45.