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What is Functional Neurology?

September 21, 2020


Mark Shelley

Many people have never heard of functional neurology, let alone understand how it works to improve an individual’s health and quality of life.

You might find yourself wondering what functional neurology is and how it can help you. Simply put, functional neurology uses specific, non-invasive treatment procedures to rehabilitate nerve cells.

Functional neurology treatments usually target specific areas of the nervous system as the nervous system is directly responsible for coordinating and balancing all other areas of the body. If there is an imbalance in your nervous system, your physical and mental health can be thrown off and you can suffer the consequences.

By managing and balancing the nervous system, balance can be restored in other body systems and health often improves.

How Does Functional Neurology Work?

Functional neurology treatments begin with a thorough examination to discover the location, type, and severity of the neurological imbalance. Additionally, the doctor will seek to understand the root cause of the imbalance and resultant symptoms.

A medical neurologist will typically use drugs or surgery to treat abnormal nerve function. A functional neurologist will typically use physical non-invasive stimuli to restore nerve function. Examples include the following:

  • Specific eye movements: Pursuits, saccades, optokinetic reflex
  • Vestibular activation, head movements to stimulate specific inner ear structures: Semicircular canals and Otoliths
  • Sensorimotor stimulation, such as the Interactive Metronome, to improve response time to visual and auditory cues
  • Balance therapy: Force plate exercises and vestibular rehabilitation therapy
  • Neurologically specific exercises, adjustments, and muscle balancing manual therapy

What Conditions Has Functional Neurology Been Known to Help?

While it’s important to note that functional neurology therapy hasn’t been labeled as a treatment for specific illnesses, it has been known to help alleviate a number of symptoms stemming from neurological disorders.

It’s important that patients receiving functional neurology treatments understand that functional neurology is still viewed as a natural, holistic method of therapy and doesn’t claim to cure any illness or disease.

Despite not being the total cure for various illnesses, functional neurology has been known to help individuals suffering from the following conditions:

  • Vertigo and other balance disorders
  • Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Post-concussion symptoms 
  • Early Parkinson’  symptoms 
  • Early Alzheimer’s symptoms
  • Dystonia 
  • Chronic migraines and headaches
  • Spinal stenosis 
  • Tremor disorders
  • Peripheral Neuropathy

These are just a few of the vast number of conditions that functional neurological has been known to help.. While functional neurology might not be the end-all cure for these conditions, it has been known to reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from these conditions.

Functional Neurology at Olympic Spine & Sports Therapy

Here at Olympic Spine and Sports Therapy, we have a team of committed staff and doctors who are passionate about helping our patients live their best, healthiest lives. Dr. Mark Shelley, clinic director at Olympic Spine and Sports Therapy, is a board-certified chiropractic neurologist who has been treating Puget Sound residents for more than 30 years.

We are committed to helping you achieve your best health through safe, proven, and effective natural remedies. Contact Olympic Spine and Sports Therapy today or call 425-967-6426 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how functional neurology may be able to help you.