Dr. Barrington is a Board-Certified Chiropractic Functional Neurologist. Dr. Barrington’s extensive training in Functional Neurology has made him an expert in diagnosis of nerve and head injury and he provides innovative treatment for headache, dizziness, vertigo, loss of concentration, and brain fog (“fuzzy brain syndrome”). Specialized exercise for eye movements, balance and use of Interactive Metronome technology can be successful in treatment of concussion as well as these other conditions.
When we think of neurology or of a neurologist, we think of the nerves of the body and a doctor or other healthcare provider who examines and recommends treatment, typically in the form of medication. Neurologists are typically medical doctors or osteopathic physicians.
Functional Neurology approaches neurology in the same fashion as a medical neurologist but the treatment will be different. Functional neurology does not use medication but rather uses exercises or other physical treatment to effect positive changes in neurological conditions. A functional neurology examination will look for weaknesses in certain areas and apply physical exercises or treatment to strengthen weak areas. For example, a person with double vision or difficulty reading due to inability to focus might be given eye exercises.
Functional Neurology has treatments to help individuals after concussion regain concentration and improve thought processes.
Concussion is a term used to describe what happens to a person’s brain after a head injury. Not everyone who hits their head has a concussion, but if there is a loss of consciousness, especially over 5 minutes, the diagnosis of concussion is certain.
Concussion symptoms include headache, dizziness and difficulty with concentration. Problems with concentration can include: “brain fog”, inability to find words or lose smoothness in thought processes or thinking.
After a head injury which results in concussion, the brain’s nerve cells or neurons, ability to communicate effectively with each other and to maintain its own health or metabolism, is changed for 30 days. Immediately after a concussive head injury, a person should be confined to a darkened room and have very little light or sound interference, including television or cell phones. In severe cases, these protocols should be in place for the entire 30 days.
Functional neurology, which employs chiropractic modalities as well as other types of treatments, is effective in reducing headache, dizziness and with instruments like the Interactive Metronome, can dramatically reduce brain fog and improve thinking.
Dizziness & Balance
In order for us to maintain balance and not become dizzy, there are three systems in our bodies which must be in perfect communication with each other. The first, and major system, is our vision. Even when we feel dizziness from a weakness in the other 2 systems, as long as we can keep our eyes on a horizon or stationary object, we can many times hold our balance.
The second system is the inner ear system or “labyrinth”, which is composed of three tiny tubes or canals, on the inside of our ears on both sides of our head, which contain a fluid which runs through each tube and creates signals of our position or posture. There is a tube which runs sideways, one goes forward and one backward. The sideways, or lateral, tube is the one stimulated when we close our eyes and turn in circles. The anterior tube is the most stabilizing tube which is why we put our heads down when we feel dizzy or sick. The last tube runs backward, or posterior, and is the weakest of the three. Falling backwards is usually the most frightening direction to fall for all of us.
The final system comes from nerve endings in our ligaments and skin. We know where our feet are without having to look at them. These nerve signals coming from our joints, skin and spine go through a part of our brain called the cerebellum. The cerebellum is very sensitive to alcohol which is why people will lose balance or stagger if they have had too much to drink.
All of these systems must communicate with each other within milliseconds of change otherwise a “mismatch” occurs, and we will have momentary dizziness.
Each one of these systems must be analyzed for weakness and an appropriate treatment recommended.