Functional Neurology to Improve Athletic Performance in Chicago

Are you seeking functional neurology to improve your athletic performance in the Chicago area?

Every athlete needs a competitive edge, no matter how big or small the league you are a part of.

The physical aspect is of course important and we all know we need to build our bodies in order to compete at the highest levels.

But in modern sports, brute physical strength is simply not enough.

The mental aspect in every game (often referred to as “the meta”) is becoming more and more intricate and pronounced.

There is an internal chess match playing out in real-time that is built into every sport which dictates the pace and flow of games.

Should I pass or should I shoot? Should I focus on offense or defense?

Is my opponent going left or going right?

Your performance as an athlete can be measured by how many things you do right or wrong in comparison to your opponent throughout the course of a game, or a season, or a career.

Muscle memory, situational awareness, quick reaction times, confident split-second decision making under pressure, can ultimately make or break your in-game performance.

All of these things boil down to one thing: your ability to continuously learn and adapt.

Functional Neurology to Improve Athletic Performance in Chicago

How to Increase Athletic Performance with Neuroplasticity

The process of neuroplasticity in improving athletic performance refers to our brain and nervous system’s ability to strengthen and grow new neural pathways in order to remodel, adapt, and reorganize our neurons.

In short, this is the mechanism that allows us to learn new motor skills and gain experience, but also to unlearn and rewrite ingrained habits.

This process relies on practice and repetitions, just like strengthening a muscle, and becomes more difficult as we age. 

Neurology and Athletic Performance

Neurology and athletic performance go hand in hand.

Athletic movements require a complex process of muscular coordination to pull off, whether you’re shooting a basketball, throwing a punch, or even lifting weights.

An athlete who can perform these actions quicker and in proper form will often have an advantage over their opponents.

When a motion comes naturally to an athlete, they are more capable of pulling it off with less mental effort, even while under pressure.

It is therefore important to build and solidify the neural pathways involved in these motions, though it is easier said than done. 

Once we grow past puberty, our natural capacity for neuroplasticity drops significantly.

Injuries are also problematic as long term muscle memory that had been previously ingrained in our system and reflexogenic weakness can occur due to trauma, head or eye movement, and/or food sensitivities.

This is usually very difficult to recover.

Another issue is that most athletes need to have the ability to adapt and keep up with ever increasing challenges and ever changing playing fields.

So how can we improve in these aspects?

For the physical side, we can build our bodies up through exercise and conditioning.

But how do we do that for the mental game?

How do we exercise our brain and nervous system?

How can we have the ability to consistently learn and develop new skills while improving our muscle memory?

Traditional training and rehabilitation programs may increase the range of motion of a joint and muscle complex.

However, little is done to reestablish the neurological control of the complex.

There are many ways we can enhance the functions of our nervous system in order to improve our reaction times, processing capacity, awareness levels and mental dexterity.

In understanding the interaction between the body and the nervous system which governs motion, coordination and perception, we can dramatically improve our athletic performance by making the connection of mind and body more efficient.

This is where Functional Neurology comes into play.

What is Functional Neurology?

Functional neurology is a field in healthcare on the leading edge of Neuroscience that specializes in the assessment, quantification and rehabilitation of all forms of conditions concerning the nervous system – anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of nerves.

Every part of our nervous system is responsible for a specific set of functions.

A Functional Neurologist can diagnose which areas of your nervous system are compromised or weakened, and prescribe an appropriate treatment to improve the quality of your neurological functions.

Functional Neurology forgoes the use of chemical treatments and invasive surgery, instead opting to promote neuroplasticity by engaging your brain and body connection and optimizing your sensory-motor systems through rehabilitation and therapy in order to bring out your highest athletic potential.

Some of the diseases we treat through Functional Neurology include:

  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Parkinson’s, Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA), Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, dementia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease), etc.
  • Demyelinating diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS), transverse myelitis, B12 deficiency, etc.
  • Movement disorders
  • Dystonia, torticollis, blepharospasm, tremor, myoclonus, tics, chorea, restless legs syndrome, dyspraxia, etc.
  • Ear and equilibrium problems
  • Vertigo, dizziness, motion sickness, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuronitis, acoustic neuroma, mal de débarquement, Menière’s disease, ataxia, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), fear of falling, tinnitus, etc.
  • Headaches and pain syndromes
  • Migraine, cluster headache, tension headache, chronic pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS, Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), causalgia), fibromyalgia, etc.
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries, peripheral nerve injuries.
  • Seizure disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Cerebrovascular conditions
  • POTS, Autonomic dysregulation. Orthostatic hypotension.
  • Nerve, nerve root and plexus disorders
  • Trigeminal neuralgia, Bell’s palsy, brachial plexus lesion, disc herniation, canal stenosis, intermittent claudication, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, meralgia paresthetica, cheiralgia paresthetica, morton’s metatarsalgia, tarsal tunnel syndrome, intercostal neuropathy, Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), polyneuropathy, etc.
  • Neurodevelopmental problems
  • Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Asperger’s, Tourette (TS), Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), dyslexia, processing disorders, dyspraxia, learning disability, language developmental delay, global developmental delay, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy (CP), etc.
  • Concussions

What are the treatments in Functional Neurology that can help in athletic performance?

Functional Neurology focuses on creating healthy neuroplasticity of the nervous system by improving blood circulation, stimulation and fuel delivery.

Treatments not only protect the nervous system, but also promote the activation that it needs to thrive.

Even a poorly functioning nervous system past the age of puberty can be rehabilitated by Functional Neurologists with progressive and permanent positive results.

Functional Neurology can give you that extra athletic edge you need to beat the competition.

Having a healthy and efficient nervous system improves your situational awareness, hand-eye coordination, reaction times, and will even help you learn quicker and more efficiently by promoting neuroplasticity in the brain and nerves. 

Each patient receives a comprehensive health history and examination, consisting of neurological, orthopedic, musculoskeletal and organ system evaluations. Advanced neurological testing is used to evaluate the relay centers within the nervous system that govern and control all human functions.

Some of the diagnostic tools we employ include:

  • Videonystagmography
  • Computerized posturography
  • Oculomotor testing
  • Balance and coordination tests
  • Gait analysis

Some of the rehabilitation techniques/procedures we use include

  • Balance and vestibular rehabilitation
  • Light, sound, smell and touch stimulations
  • Eye exercises
  • Cognitive training
  • Specific adjustments to the joints
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

If you are interested in making an improvement in your athletic performance, you have all the resources you need to make that happen. Chicago Neuro is an advanced functional neurology group in the heart of Chicago. We specialize in treating neurological disorders such as concussion, ADHD, migraines and anxiety/depression. We offer advanced testing and assessments, along with cutting edge rehabilitation techniques to bring you better health and a better way of life.

Contact us today at (312) 767.3500 or email us through info@chicagoneuro.com

Summary
  • Muscle memory, situational awareness, quick reaction times, confident split-second decision making under pressure, can ultimately make or break your in-game performance. All of these things boil down to one thing: your ability to continuously learn and adapt. 
  • The process of neuroplasticity refers to our brain and nervous system’s ability to strengthen and grow new neural pathways in order to remodel, adapt, and reorganize our neurons.
  • When a motion comes naturally to an athlete, they are more capable of pulling it off with less mental effort, even while under pressure. It is therefore important to build and solidify the neural pathways involved in these motions, though it is easier said than done. 
  • Traditional training and rehabilitation programs may increase the range of motion of a joint and muscle complex. However, little is done to reestablish the neurological control of the complex.
  • Functional neurology is a field in healthcare on the leading edge of Neuroscience that specializes in the assessment, quantification and rehabilitation of all forms of conditions concerning the nervous system – anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of nerves.
  • Functional Neurology forgoes the use of chemical treatments and invasive surgery, instead opting to promote neuroplasticity by engaging your brain and body connection and optimizing your sensory-motor systems through rehabilitation and therapy in order to bring out your highest athletic potential.
  • Functional Neurology focuses on creating healthy neuroplasticity of the nervous system by improving blood circulation, stimulation and fuel delivery. Treatments not only protect the nervous system, but also promote the activation that it needs to thrive. 
  • Having a healthy and efficient nervous system improves your situational awareness, hand-eye coordination, reaction times, and will even help you learn quicker and more efficiently by promoting neuroplasticity in the brain and nerves.