An article in the June 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association (JACA) reports on the growing specialty of chiropractic neurology and new research in the neurological sciences that points to chiropractic as a possible non-drug treatment for a host of baffling disorders. Clinical findings suggest that problems in central nervous system function could be a source of many conditions. Chiropractic neurology is also proving helpful in the management of injuries from whiplash accidents, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, weight problems, sleep apnea, and many other clinical disorders.
“Chiropractic is neurology,” says Dr. Gail Henry. “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, a joint, out into the periphery, and into the central nervous system.”
For example, chiropractic neurologists have successfully treated attention deficit disorders (ADD/ADHD) without drugs. Doctors isolate aspects of the brain that are not developing or functioning properly and determine the appropriate therapeutic approach.
“We use modalities to effect either a calming or an activation and increase of stimulation of a part of the brain that controls mood, attention, problem-solving qualities and thought processing,” Dr. Henry explains. “These children do wonderfully. They usually respond very quickly, especially in the absence of any brain damage. We are usually simply dealing with developmental patterns and the development of the brain. Some respond well to music, but of course, the treatment is very individualized.”
Chiropractic neurology is also addressing autism. “Many children may be autistic as a result of compromised cerebral and thalamic integration,” explains Dr. Michael Hall. “A chiropractic neurologist may be able to provide additional clinical insight and clinical procedures to improve brain function through manipulation and non-manipulative procedures. The research is still in its infancy, but clinical results are promising with regard to brain-based clinical disorders.”
Currently, there are 525 board-certified chiropractic neurologists worldwide recognized by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). The specialty has enjoyed an increased popularity over the past 15 years, according to Dr. Frederick Carrick, a distinguished post graduate professor of clinical neurology at Logan College of Chiropractic and president of the ACA Council on Neurology. “While neurology has always been the basis of chiropractic, advanced training in the discipline allows the practitioner to serve patients at a higher level.”