Chiropractic Neurology: How It Can Help You After A Bicycle Crash
When you are hurt in a bicycle crash, an injury can be complex. Sometimes a broken bone leads to hurt muscles or torn ligaments, or a spinal injury has an effect on the nervous system or brain. Because the human body is so intricate, treatment must align with the needs of the person.
In cases where the nervous system is impacted by a crash, chiropractic neurology may be a favorable option, especially because the spine, brain, and nervous system are all connected.
The spine plays a primary role in sending motor commands from the brain to the body. This means that when you have a traumatic brain injury or spinal injury, it is not unlikely that other parts of the body are affected.
“Spinal cord injury related to moderate and severe trauma usually affects the cervical spine,” one study, which focused on pedestrians hit by cars, concluded.
If you’re hurt because of a bicycle accident it’s important to seek out the right care, because spinal injuries or brain injuries can have long-lasting impacts on your life. Chiropractic neurology may help, as it’s designed around the brain, spine and nervous system being so intertwined and reliant upon each other.
What is chiropractic neurology?
The American Chiropractic Association recognizes 11 specialties in the field, one of them being neurology, which mainly covers the body’s nervous system.
“Typical dysfunctions treated by a chiropractic neurologist include a variety of disorders affecting the peripheral nervous system, such as radiculopathy or other peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes,” explains practitioner Ron Boesch. “They also work with patients who have central nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis or post-stroke rehabilitation.”
Unlike your typical chiropractor you may visit for stiff necks or an achy back, these health professionals use radiographs, MRI, CT, electromyogram (EMG) and other tools to diagnose and treat patients.
These health care workers are either “a Doctor of Chiropractic or the equivalent that has taken 300 post-doctoral hours of coursework in functional neurology and passed the rigorous written and performance exams required for certification by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board,” the organization says.
“They use the patient’s body and environment to assess, diagnose and localize areas of dysfunction. The human body systems are constantly affecting the neurological system and being affected by the neurological system. Our doctors use this functional and holistic approach to target interventions specific to the location of the dysfunction.”
The Chiropractic Neurology Center explains that similar to a medical neurologist, these specially-trained chiropractors also serve in the same consulting manner.
Helping patients the holistic way
The journey to regaining full strength and mobility after a bicycle crash can be long and cumbersome, especially when injuries and side effects are so intertwined. The bicycle injury attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle Law see this every day and know that a bicycle-related injury varies greatly from person to person, and case to case. This is why we urge cyclists to seek the care they need, and to lean on us to make sure it’s accessible.
Chiropractic neurologists combine their knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and the sensory systems to treat patients. They take a systemic approach, rather than treating a symptom or injury in isolation.
This holistic approach is particularly important when a cyclist has experienced a TBI, which is increasingly common.
“During sudden impacts, the brain and supporting structures quickly accelerate and decelerate, causing forces to be transferred throughout the nervous system and spine,” explains Chiropractic Economics Magazine. “This movement can cause structural damage such as torn ligaments, muscle strain and misalignment, along with diffuse axonal injuries to the peripheral neurons and central neuronal networks.”
A chiropractic neurologist will work with you to not only treat the TBI, but the other symptoms or injuries from the accident that accompany it.
Why choose a chiropractic neurologist?
Spinal injuries are common among cyclists. In fact, researchers have found that more than 81% of sports-related spinal injuries in adults are due to bicycling mishaps.
Part of the reason the percentage is so high is because there has been an uptick in bicycle crashes overall. “Cycling has seen a large increase in popularity worldwide over the last number of years. This has been linked to an increase in the number of road traffic accidents involving cyclists. Participation in cycling as part of competitive sport and endurance events has seen particular growth,” one study says.
This means that there is a particular need for health care providers who specialize in these accidents and injuries.
“Integrative and individualized holistic health practices must be considered along with chiropractic and traumatic brain injury care for both TBIs and WADs (whiplash-associated disorders). Holistic health puts patients back in the driver’s seat and makes them active participants in their health care journey,” says Erik Reis, a chiropractic functional neurologist at Northwestern Health Sciences University’s Sweere Clinic.
“By offering specialized treatment methods, chiropractors provide a unique value and offer long-term support for TBI patients. By understanding the complexities of the brain and body, chiropractors can provide the highest levels of care to improve outcomes.”
Even if you believe you’ve only suffered minor injuries — or something perceived as minor, such as a concussion — this type of health care may be a good way to pinpoint secondary injuries or side effects and find therapies that promote healing. This type of treatment may not be covered by your health insurance, but a personal injury settlement can help ensure you’re able to afford it.