Functional neurology is a chiropractic specialty that has recently been making headlines as the wave of the future in healthcare. Functional neurology is the expansion of chiropractic and the understanding that along with helping musculoskeletal complaints, chiropractic can aid neurological complaints as well.

While at first it might seem strange that chiropractic can change and improve the way the brain works, consider this, just like when you learn activities such as kicking a ball or playing the piano, the information for those movements is not stored in your hands and feet, it is stored in your brain. The movement and changes in joints and muscles provides specific information to our brain allowing us to stand up against gravity, move around our environment, and interact with those around us.

At the same time, our brain sends information back down to our body to stabilize the spine, move our eyes, and interpret all of the information that is being provided to it. Because of this interaction between the brain and its connections, chiropractors have advanced our understanding to say “if we can improve brain function by using the receptors in muscles and joints, how can we use other types of receptors or input to improve all areas of brain?”

Therefore, in addition to the receptors in your musculoskeletal system, functional or chiropractic neurologists use additional receptors and activate them with things such as light, sound, memory games, eye exercises, vestibular training, and more. This allows us to address a wide variety of brain changes that are slow to respond to medications. This includes things like migraines, concussions, balance disorders, traumatic brain injury, BPPV, learning disabilities, and more.

When it comes down to it, just like you would do specific exercises to help rehab a hurt knee, we provide specific exercises to help rehab the area of brain that isn’t working as well as it should. This allows the brain to fire with accuracy and in synchrony to achieve its goals.

As healthcare continues to progress, chiropractic neurologists will be at the forefront of health in helping to treat complex cases, getting to the root cause of health problems, and communicating with all types of practitioners to improve overall patient care.

Currently, in Washington State, there are only four chiropractic neurologists in the state according to the certifying body ( Dr. Brad Bodle is one of those four and is a leader in the field.