HOW WE TREAT
Functional Neurology utilizes the concept of neuroplasticity to rehabilitate functional impairments related to the brain and nervous system identified by the clinical examination. This includes symptoms or presentations that may involve, for example, the motor system, oculomotor/visual system, vestibular system, cognition, memory, emotion, and behavior.
Neurological rehabilitation employs multi-modal, evidence-based clinical strategies to target particular pathways and areas along these pathways that are functioning at an inefficient level.
With the unique approach of patient-specific, one-on-one, repetitive, intensive, and targeted therapeutic activity we can promote appropriate adaptations in brain function.
THESE STRATEGIES INVOLVE A VARIETY Of ACTIVITIES USING THE FOLLOWING SYSTEMS:
- Proprioceptive system
- Motor system
- Vestibular system
- Oculomotor and visual system
- Auditory system
The sensation of touch, including vibration, pressure, and pain is perceived and experienced by our somatosensory system.
RPSS is a form of therapy that delivers a low-dose electrical stimulation in order to create a sensory input directed at changing how our brain responds to this form of touch. It is often used to improve sensory loss, reduce pain, change the brain’s representation of a particular body area or part, activate or inhibit motor activity, and modulate activity in particular regions within the central nervous system.
The Interactive Metronome (IM) is an evidence-based assessment and therapy tool that is used to improve neural timing and rhythm-integrating sensory (auditory, visual, and touch) motor and cognitive activities simultaneously.
Our oculomotor system is our eye movement system. Proper movement and control of our eyes is integral for clear vision, attention, spatial orientation, coordination, and balance, just to name a few. Eye movements reveal extensive amounts of information pertaining to brain and nervous system function due to the complexity of the networks that not only control the eyes and generate eye movements, but also those that process visual information and correlate it with our other sensory and motor functions.
Oculomotor rehabilitation strategies are tailored to each individual patient and are determined based on the objective observations identified during the neurological examination.
Some examples of indications for the integration of oculomotor rehabilitation in a treatment plan include:
- To promote appropriate generation and accuracy of a particular eye movement pattern that is deficient
- Strengthen a weakened eye muscle
- Enhance gaze stability
- Increase firing within a particular neural network or specific area of the brain or central nervous system
The vestibular system is made up of two components: the peripheral vestibular system (i.e., the inner ear) and the central vestibular system, which receives the information from the inner ear portion and relays it to the appropriate areas in the brain, cerebellum, and brainstem for integration with more complex neurological functions.
Traditional Vestibular Rehabilitation strategies have primarily focused on peripheral vestibular disorders alone. At MCN we are able to address disorders originating in or associated with both the peripheral and central vestibular system. This includes a variety of evidence-based therapeutic interventions that aim to restore appropriate firing along those pathways related to body position, balance, posture, spatial awareness, coordination, control of eye movements, and integration with the autonomic nervous system for proper control of blood pressure and heart rate.
Many children presenting with developmental disorders exhibit retained or poorly integrated reflexes that are inherent to the maturation and development of the central nervous system during gestation, throughout the first year of life, and continuing through adolescence. If a child exhibits retained reflexes or has reflexes that have not integrated properly, exercises may be prescribed that will provide the necessary stimulation to promote maturation of the areas of delayed development.
Chiropractic manipulations may be integrated with treatment as determined by the doctor from clinical examination findings. Joints and the surrounding soft tissues provide the feedback to our brain pertaining to our body position and movements. Alterations in joint mobility can result in excessive or dampened feedback from our peripheral system. We may utilize particular manipulation/mobilization of a joint in order to create a change in neural signals to a particular area of the brain and central nervous system. Objective findings from the examination will allow the doctor to determine if this form of therapeutic intervention is appropriate for the clinical presentation being addressed with treatment.
When indicated, it may be necessary to directly address muscular and other soft tissue components related to a patient’s clinical presentation. We are trained in a variety of soft tissue rehabilitation techniques that address muscle, fascia, and peripheral nerve problems. Electrical muscle stimulation therapy may be integrated with a rehabilitation program and applied for purposes of activating particular areas of the brain and central nervous system, or to address primary musculoskeletal involvement. EMS is beneficial for reducing localized inflammation/edema, reducing muscle spasm, increasing joint mobility/range of motion, assisting with muscular contraction patterns, aiding in combating disuse-related atrophy, and reducing pain.