As a part of their extensive training, chiropractors are able to choose areas of specialty such as orthopedics, radiology, or internal medicine. One area they can choose is neurology, which requires an additional 3-year course of study in neurology on top of their regular chiropractic training. The rigor of this specialty means that there are less than 500 board-certified chiropractic neurologists in the world today. If you’re seeking a neurologist in Atlanta, we are lucky to have some of those chiropractic neurologists practicing here at AICA Orthopedics.
Becoming a Chiropractic Neurologist
In order to become a chiropractor, a person needs to complete an undergraduate degree and then go on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. This is usually an additional 4 years, including both lab, classroom, and clinical education. There is also a state board that issues licenses to chiropractors based on an exam. In order to ensure standards are met, chiropractors must recertify periodically.
To become a chiropractic neurologist, a chiropractor will then have to go through another rigorous program that lasts three years. This is a post-doctorate degree and must be conducted in an accredited university or college that is recognized by the United States Department of Education.
These programs include both classroom and clinical lessons as well as a separate board exam in neurology. These tests are issued by an independent examining board and are only given once a year. Both oral and practical examinations are included, as well as psychometric testing.
Once certified, yearly re-certification will be required. The American Chiropractic Neurology Board conducts these activities and administers the credential of Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (DACNB), which denotes a doctor has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to practice in this field.
What Chiropractic Neurologists Do
Many medical neurologists see patients who need high-intervention treatment, like pain medication or surgery. While these can be necessary, they also carry risks of serious complications and side effects. When these aren’t necessary, a chiropractic neurologist is able to bridge the gap between this level of care and the more natural focus of chiropractic care. Using the safe and effective methods of chiropractic care, these providers can treat brain and nervous system disorders.
A chiropractic neurologist works in a very similar manner to a medical neurologist. They will begin by evaluating a patient for pathologies, but they may take a different approach. The goal of their diagnosis process will be to detect subtle changes in the nervous system. The treatment plans they design will then be directed by an understanding of the brain’s role in joint and muscle dysfunction that may be found through these subtle changes.
Treatments are designed to activate the natural processes of neuroplasticity, which involves changing the neurons, the organizations of neuron networks, and neuron function through therapy and brain function rehabilitation. This may be done through neuromuscular re-education exercises, cognitive exercises, chiropractic adjustments, or stimulation of sensory systems like balance, auditory, or vision.
When to See a Chiropractic Neurologist
People often find a chiropractic neurologist after struggling to reach a diagnosis through other specialists. When there is a diagnostic dilemma or question of the right treatment, many neurologists in Atlanta will seek counsel with these specialists. Chiropractic neurologists are also brought in when a patient isn’t responding to traditional treatment, as their knowledge of the overlap between the central and peripheral nervous system can offer insights that other providers lack.
Chiropractic neurologists can treat a range of conditions but are often known for their work with movement disorders, dystonia, post-stroke rehabilitation, chronic pain, vertigo, head injuries, and nerve entrapment syndromes that are a result of lesions in the central and peripheral nerve system.
A chiropractic neurologist can likely see anything that may bring you to a neurologist. If a condition requires surgery or invasive treatments, you may be referred to a medical neurologist, but beginning with safe and non-invasive methods is usually recommended.
Therapeutic Benefits of Chiropractic Neurology
It used to be a common belief that our brain stops developing by adulthood, but it is now clear that the brain never stops adapting to environmental input. A chiropractic neurologist specializes in therapies that are based on the brain’s ability to adapt and impact joint and muscle function. By using these methods, they are often able to achieve results without the risk of more invasive treatment methods.
If you feel you can benefit from this therapy, contact AICA Atlanta today to discuss your concerns and meet a certified chiropractic neurologist.