Conditions We Treat...
Concussion & TBI
For individuals who play sports that involve contact with another person or object, such as football or hockey, concussions are relatively common. Concussions often result from a blow to the head, but they can also result from severe shaking of the head or upper body and can even result from falls or car accidents due to the “whiplash” without an impact to the head. Since every concussion causes injury to the brain or other neurological structures, it requires time and rest to heal properly. Most concussions are mild, and people usually recover fully after a few weeks. As such, the effects of a concussion are usually temporary. If symptoms like headaches, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to light and sound, memory deficits, balance, coordination, and mood last more than a few weeks, then a more serious situation is in place. In that case you must…Read More
Dizziness & Vertigo
Ninety percent of the brain’s energy is consumed by keeping you aware of where you are in space. The brain uses multiple systems to perform this function. These include: the visual system, the receptors of the inner ear and body sense coming from joints, muscles and skin (proprioception). Each of these systems need to be telling the brain the same information. When there is a mismatch between these systems you can experience any form of dizziness. The most common cause of dizziness is a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo which is caused by a crystal that finds its way into the inner ear’s semicircular canals. Other forms of dizziness can be caused by problems in the cervical spine, processing of information in the central nervous system or even autoimmune conditions.
Some of the most common conditions involving the autonomic nervous system (ANS) are POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), orthostatic hypotension, Raynaud’s syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome and gastric paresis. Imbalances within the ANS involve looking at the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches. They can be analyzed with diagnostic tests such as heart rate variability (HRV) and pupillary reactions. Physical, chemical and emotional stress plays a major role in these types of dysfunctions. These malfunctions can be driven by vestibular problems, issues within the brainstem or stress related problems. In addition to brain based rehabilitation, clinical nutrition may be utilized to address any drivers of inflammation which can worsen these conditions.
The most common cause of low thyroid in the U.S. is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Although there are no cures for autoimmune disorders, the immune system can be modulated to reduce the immune system’s destruction of the gland. Clinical Nutrition strategies are applied to improve: digestion, the liver, blood sugar balance, inflammation control, etc. The entire function of the thyroid is analyzed as opposed to the limited approach of monitoring TSH. Many patients are frustrated with this limited approach and are looking for a more detailed analysis of the many bodily functions that can influence the thyroid’s function. As a result, some of the most common symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, brain fog, digestive disturbances, and insomnia can be improved.
Pain or altered sensations of the upper and lower extremities can be caused by many factors. Altered sensation can consist of pain, numbing, tingling, weakness or changes in temperature caused by alterations in blood which is controlled by the nerves affected. Analysis of the exact cause of the problem is essential in order to develop the appropriate treatment strategy. Compression of nerves or vascular structures can be caused by diseased spinal discs, muscular imbalances, inflammation from autoimmune conditions, or blood sugar imbalances. Both Neuromusculoskeletal treatments and Clinical Nutrition strategies are common employed to address these types of conditions.
Spinal dysfunction alters the neurological integrity within the joint as well as disturbing communication to and from the brain. The spinal segments (vertebrae) are surrounded by muscles, tendons and ligaments that contain receptors that convey information to the brain that allows for appropriate mobility, posture and overall bodily function. Spinal dysfunction has been called subluxation but is more accurately referred to as joint position error. Restoring appropriate spinal motion by traditional manual adjustments as well as instrument-delivered non-manipulative techniques can effectively treat these conditions. In addition, there is an intimate relationship between the spine, eye movements and vestibular function which makes our treatment approach unique and relief longer lasting.
There are many forms of headaches but the most common headaches include tension type and migraines. Over 80% of tension headaches are related to the cervical spine (cervicogenic). Migraine headaches can be related to inflammation, hormonal disturbances, autonomic dysfunction or structural components. Brain-based (receptor-based) therapies are included to address neurological and spinal function. Analysis of blood work may aid in identifying any underlying metabolic causes. Nutritional strategies can then be included to address inflammation, nutritional deficits, or hormonal disturbances that can cause the headache symptoms. This wholistic approach addresses the causes of your headache pain and achieves longer lasting results.
Extremity problems can be caused by acute injuries or chronic structural imbalances. Pain in the extremities can be caused by a direct injury or a referred pain caused by the associated spinal regions that control them. A comprehensive treatment strategy needs to address both of these situations. Spinal structural imbalances can cause altered neurological communication to the area. Causes to the pain may also be located in adjacent joints, the opposite side of the body or the brain/cortical areas that control/map the body part. These cortical maps allow the brain to locate every body part and directly influence their function-therefore alterations in these cortical maps need to be addressed as well with a brain-based approach.
The most common autoimmune (AI) disorders that present to our clinic are thyroid related (Hashimoto's), Celiac Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis), gastritis and Meniere's. Although there are no cures for AI disorders (and therefore we are NOT treating them), the immune system can be modulated towards calming the immune system's attack on your body's tissues by introducing changes in diet and nutrition to aid in reducing inflammation. Research dictates that there are three things that need to be in place to have a AI condition: family history, gastrointestinal involvement (leaky gut syndrome, LGS) and some type of trigger that stimulates the attack. The key is to identify the trigger or triggers. Triggers include: dysregulation like blood sugar imbalances, stress, or other hormonal imbalances and things that the immune system attacks such as foods, toxins or previous infections. Evaluation includes identifying these triggers and healing the LGS with Clinical Nutrition.
Blood sugar disturbances include high blood sugar levels such as pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance as well as low blood sugar conditions like hypoglycemia and reactive hypoglycemia. Whether the disturbance is high or low, they always result in insulin surges which are inflammatory. The vast majority of these problems can be addressed with dietary changes, supplementation and lifestyle interventions that can correct the underlying imbalances. Blood sugar disturbances can result in fatigue, energy swings, unwanted weight gain, sleep disturbances, problems with mood, and cravings which can lead to overeating and poor food choices. These conditions affect how the brain and nervous system is fueled and many other conditions can be helped by balancing blood sugar. Analyzing the patient's pattern of symptoms and a thorough blood work will aid in determining which treatments may help. Results are often experienced within a few weeks of treatment.
The most common conditions that patients seek help for are: bloating, reflux (heartburn), abdominal pain and irritable bowel symptoms that result in either constipation, diarrhea or both. These conditions occur due to food reactions, new or old infections, neurological components or issues with the gut barrier also known as leaky gut syndrome. If the gut is involved, there is always going to be brain involvement due to the Gut-Brain Axis. An examination of blood, stool or breath testing can help identify the underlying cause of your condition. Treatment programs include dietary changes, supplement additions and lifestyle changes.
These include conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Dementia, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). You or someone you know may have a neurodegenerative disorder. They affect not only the person suffering but those around them. Some can result from trauma like CTE, but others occur from varied circumstances years prior to when the first symptoms appear. Some of the earliest signs are loss of sense of smell, loss of arm swing or shoulder pain, constipation, balance problems and slowing of movement. Functional Neurology is well equipped to address neurodegenerative disorders. A comprehensive examination can assess the extent of the problems and devise a treatment program that may include both brain based therapies and a nutritional approach to possibly slow the progression.
Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) can occur in both children and adults. They affect the person's focus and concentration that ultimately affects academic performance as well as activities of daily living. A thorough examination can identify problems with communication among the nervous system's different parts, problems with neural timing, problems with oculomotor functions or any combination of these. All these can contribute to problems with concentration and focus. Treatment may include various receptor based therapies and clinical nutrition to re-establish appropriate neurological and metabolic integrity.
Movement disorders include too much movement like tremor or clonic activity or lessened movement like dystonia, spasms or stiffness. These conditions can be caused by problems in the cerebellum, basal ganglia or cortical areas (body/cortical maps). They can result in abnormal gait and postural patterns which will then cause problems with balance and movement and potentially increase the risk of falls and other injuries. A thorough examination can determine where the dysfunction is coming from and provide information on how the problem can effectively be treated.
Problems with cognition include: memory, focus, attention, processing speed, word recall and brain fog to name just a few. Cognitive problems are addressed with brain based therapies to improve neuroplasticity but also clinical nutrition which can help improve fuel to the nervous system and decrease neuroinflammation. An examination of the various cognitive domains can identify where the treatment needs to be concentrated.
Performing at your best requires neurological integrity, structural balance, optimal reaction times, and maximal speed, strength and agility. The ability to locate yourself, objects and any opponents in space enables accurate maneuvering through your environment. Producing energy efficiently via appropriate absorption of nutrients requires optimal digestion, blood sugar balance and hormonal control. A customized program of fitness rounds out maximizing your performance by addressing mobility, balance and strength. All these functions can be achieved via a program centered on enhancing performance utilizing functional neurology, clinical nutrition and motion fitness. If these aspects are in place, then injuries can be prevented and peak performance realized.
Stubborn weight can be due to malfunctions to one or combination of the following systems: blood sugar and adrenal, thyroid, liver/gastrointestinal, and hormonal. Physical examination including body composition and blood analysis can pinpoint where the body is experiencing faltered metabolism. Fat burning efficiency also requires good sleep, inflammation control and a pain free body. Losing unwanted fat and pounds goes beyond a calories-in, calories-out analysis. Certain foods can produce inflammation that inhibit your ability to burn fat. High or low blood sugar can also contribute to increased inflammation. Thyroid function requires optimal digestive health, good liver function and a balanced immune function. All these factors are analyzed when you present to our clinic.
Hormonal disorders not only involve your sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, etc.), but also adrenal/stress hormones. The vast majority of the time, you will need to balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation before these hormonal systems can be effectively addressed. Blood work and urine testing can help identify where the problems are coming from. A program of clinical nutrition, along with appropriate supplementation and lifestyle changes are effective at addressing these types of disorders.