Functional Neurology

Functional Neurology

What is functional neurology?

Functional neurology is a type of holistic care that focuses on the evaluation and rehabilitation of simple and complex neurological conditions without the use of pharmaceuticals or surgery. As is the case in chiropractic, it is designed to address the source of a patient’s problem, which is often due to groups of brain cells throughout the central nervous system that aren’t working the way they are supposed to. Therapy involves the stimulation of a specific area or network of the brain which activates the body’s ability to heal through neuroplasticity. Functional neurological therapies are tailored very specifically to each patient in order to foster neuroplastic change and “rewiring” of the brain in the areas where proper function has been lost. Through repetition and specificity, we create new healthy habits or connections in the brain where some maladapted habits or malfunctions have formed that are resulting in the patient’s symptoms or condition. 


What does a functional neurologist do? 

A chiropractic neurologist assesses a patient’s brain for the proper balance of neuron activity within each brain region. This is done with testing that includes a cognitive testing, a detailed neurological physical examination, and a Videonystagmography test (VNG). These assessments are done to determine whether specific brain areas are healthy and well-functioning or if there are deficiencies from dead or unhealthy neurons, leading to a malfunction of the central nervous system. When proper function is lost, the result is neurological symptoms or conditions such as those listed below. The functional neurologist then utilizes brain therapies that are specifically tailored to each patient in order to foster neuroplastic change and improve the brain’s function. 

Who can benefit from functional neurology?            

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (post-concussion syndrome) 
  • Stroke 
  • Vestibular conditions (dizziness, vertigo, BPPV) 
  • Neurodegeneration (Dementia, Alzheimer’s) 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Dysautonomia (POTS) 
  • Neurobehavioral disorders (ADHD, Autism, OCD) 
  • Other neurological problems of unknown origin 

What does treatment typically look like? 

Although this type of brain-based rehabilitation for patients varies widely due to its highly individualized nature, therapies often include: Somatosensory Evoked Potential electrical stimulation, Vagus nerve stimulation, individualized eye movement therapies, tilt table therapies, motion guidance cervical relocation training, balance and vestibular training, brain/cognitive game applications, complex movement therapies, and interactive metronome therapies. 

A typical new patient functional neurology visit takes at least one hour and involves a detailed neurological examination. Based on the objective information collected, during the next 45-minute appointment, the chiropractic neurologist presents a review of findings to the patient and explains how chiropractic neurology may help to address their concerns. An individualized neuro-rehabilitation treatment plan is then created by the doctor and agreed upon by the patient. 

How do I get started? 

We offer an initial complimentary consultation in order for the doctor to understand your health concerns and to review the in-depth new patient paperwork that is to be completed prior to the first appointment. We will further explain our procedures and fees and give you your initial paperwork if you decide to begin functional neurological care in our office. Please call 412-828-0700 and press 1 or email for an appointment. 

Functional Neurology - Brain