What is Functional Neurology and how can it help you recover from a concussion?
Have you ever suffered a concussion or another type of traumatic head injury? If so, you may have been told that there is not much that can be done to help you recover and that you will just have to live with the symptoms. This doesn’t have to be your reality, though. Research shows that treatment plans employing functional neurology may deliver most patients greater relief from post-concussion symptoms.
Functional neurology is a relatively new health care discipline that has gained wide acceptance in recent years as a powerful treatment option for disorders of the nervous system. It spans multiple disciplines including chiropractic, psychology, conventional medicine, optometry, audiology, and physical and occupational therapies.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury resulting from a blow to the head or a sudden jolt to the body. Concussions can occur in any type of accident, but they are most common in sports-related injuries. Even a mild TBI or head injury can lead to trauma that should be taken seriously.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, up to three million people in the United States suffer concussions in sports and other recreational activities. Most of these concussions are minor, but even a mild concussion can cause symptoms that last for days or weeks.
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
The most common symptom of a concussion is headaches.
Other post concussion symptoms may include:
– nausea or vomiting
– blurred vision
– noise or light sensitivity
– feeling tired or having trouble sleeping
– difficulty concentrating or remembering things
What’s post concussion syndrome?
If you have suffered a concussion, you may be at risk for post concussion syndrome (PCS). PCS is a collection of symptoms that can last for weeks, months, or even longer after the initial head injury.
Symptoms of post concussion syndrome may include:
– sleep problems
– trouble concentrating
Post concussion syndrome can cause a variety of changes in brain performance. These changes can lead to physical, cognitive, and mental health problems if proper medical treatment is not received.
What’s the typical treatment plan for concussions?
While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for concussions, most cases benefit from a combination of physical and cognitive rest, along with a gradual return to activity within a few months. Physical therapy is often recommended to help manage mild post concussion symptoms. However, for cases with persistent symptoms and other risk factors, functional neurologists can offer a unique and highly effective treatment plan for post concussion syndrome.
How can functional neurology help treat concussions and other head injuries?
Functional neurology is based on the principle that the nervous system controls all functions of the body. Therefore, by stimulating and/or inhibiting specific areas of the brain, functional neurologists can effectively treat a head injury as well as improve a variety of neurological conditions.
There is growing evidence to support the use of functional neurology in the treatment of post concussion syndrome. One study showed that it was more effective than physical therapy in reducing post concussion symptoms. Another study found that it was an effective treatment for post concussion syndrome, with patients reporting a reduction in symptoms after just six weeks of treatment.
What is functional neurology?
Functional neurology or chiropractic neurology is a relatively new health care discipline that has its roots in functional medicine. Functional medicine is a branch of medicine that takes a systems-oriented approach to health care, to address the underlying causes of disease. The goal of functional neurology is to optimize cognitive function and overall patient health.
Why haven’t I heard about functional neurology before?
Although its applications have been practiced for generations, functional or chiropractic neurology as a health care discipline is a relatively new concept. In recent years it has gained significant momentum and wide acceptance as a proactive brain performance strategy and a powerful treatment option for multiple neurological conditions. The practice of functional neurology spans multiple disciplines including chiropractic neurology, psychology, conventional medicine, optometry, audiology, and physical and occupational therapies.
What’s the difference between functional neurology and conventional medical neurology?
The main difference between functional neurology and conventional medical neurology is the focus on brain performance. Functional neurologists take a systems-oriented approach to health care, to address the underlying causes of patient wellness.
The goal of functional neurology is to optimize brain performance and health. In contrast, conventional medical neurology focuses on diagnosing and treating disease. Crucially, conventional medical neurologists typically rely on medication and surgery to treat their patients whereas functional neurology is a more comprehensive and holistic approach to neurological care. It’s a proactive approach to health care that can help prevent neurological conditions, rather than simply treating them.
How do functional neurologists treat post concussion syndrome?
By employing a comprehensive approach to the treatment of post concussion syndrome and other neurological disorders that is customized to each patient. After conducting a thorough evaluation, the functional neurologist will develop a treatment plan that typically includes many treatment options such as neurological rehabilitation exercises, vestibular therapy, and other intensive non-surgical and drug-free interventions.
What are examples of neurological rehabilitation exercises?
Doctors practicing functional neurology typically administer and interpret diagnostic imaging and prescribe neurological rehabilitation exercises for TBI and concussion patients as a part of their treatment plan. These exercises help the brain recover and function more effectively. The goal of functional neurology is to optimize cognitive performance and improve quality of life.
Some of the most common neurological rehabilitation exercises prescribed by functional neurologists include:
– Balance and coordination exercises
– Gait training
– Strength and flexibility exercises
– Cognitive and memory training
– Visual perceptual training
What is vestibular therapy?
Vestibular therapy is a type of physical therapy effective at treating patients with balance disorders. The vestibular system is responsible for regulating movement and position. When these signals are disrupted, it may lead to dizziness, vertigo, and other balance problems.
Vestibular rehabilitation exercises can help to retrain the brain to process these signals correctly and improve balance. This type of therapy is often used to treat post concussion syndrome, as well as other conditions such as inner ear infections, Meniere’s disease, and stroke.
What training is required to become a functional neurologist?
Functional neurology training is different than a traditional medical education. To become a functional or chiropractic neurologist, one must first complete rigorous training in both chiropractic and conventional medicine. Doctors practicing functional neurology must also have a strong understanding of how the nervous system works. This allows them to develop customized treatment plans for their patients.
Chiropractic Neurologists are the ideal representation of a Functional Neurologist. In addition to rigorous academic and certification requirements, they are uniquely qualified and skilled to offer patients a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the root cause of their condition.
What are the benefits of working with a functional or chiropractic neurologists?
The benefits are many. Functional or chiropractic neurologists can help to prevent neurological conditions, rather than simply treating them. In addition, a functional neurologist can provide a more comprehensive and holistic approach to neurological care. Finally, a functional neurologist can offer their patients a more customized and individualized treatment plan. This allows for better care and improved outcomes.
How do you find a qualified functional neurologist in your area?
It’s is important to find one that is qualified, experienced, and board certified by an accredited board such as the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. You can also search online for functional neurologists in your area. When searching online, be sure to read reviews and check credentials and be sure to schedule a consultation to see if they are the right fit for you.
What should you expect during your first appointment with a functional neurologist?
Functional or chiropractic neurologists will likely ask you about your medical history and symptoms. They may also order diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions. Once they have a better understanding of your condition, they will develop a treatment plan. This may include exercises, vestibular therapy, cold laser treatment, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. You can expect to see improvement over time with regular treatment. However, it is important to follow your functional neurologist’s recommendations to see the best results.
What’s the process at APEX?
The post concussion treatment journey with APEX starts with a confidential consultation with one of our doctors, who are all board certified chiropractic neurologists. Whether in person or over the phone, the doctor will ask several questions to understand the nature and history of your injury.
They will seek to diagnose if your symptoms are due to a mild traumatic brain injury, other brain trauma, or if what you are experiencing are post concussion syndrome symptoms. This initial consultation helps identify the best treatment plans available to help you recover quickly so that you can accomplish your long term goals.
How do I find help for me or my loved one?
If you or your loved one is suffering from symptoms of a concussion or other brain injury, functional neurology may be a treatment option worth considering. A functional neurologist can offer a more comprehensive and holistic approach to neurological care, as well as a more customized and individualized treatment plan.
To find a qualified provider in your area, ask your care providers for a referral or find a board certified doctor by searching the websites of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board and the International Academy of Chiropractic Neurology. Then schedule a consultation with a few potential candidates to see if they are the right fit for you. At APEX, our team of board certified doctors are here to help you on your journey to recovery. Schedule a confidential consultation today to learn more about treatment plans designed to help you fully recover from injury and achieve your brain function goals.
Find Out if Brain Rehabilitation Can Help
Get your questions answered and understand treatment options by one of our board-certified physicians with extensive functional neurology experience.
Consultations are free, 15-minute phone calls, scheduled Monday through Friday.
Recent Blog Posts
See if APEX Can Help
Schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our board-certified physicians.