Our purpose is to provide a comprehensive solution to resolving problems related to structural abnormalities in the spine and nervous system, to allow your body to work at its highest capacity. We are proud to serve patients from all over Fairfield and New Haven County with our unique and gentle approach to health care.

Our focus is unique. Structural Optimization focuses on specifically addressing Structural Shifts in the spine that commonly cause secondary conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, degeneration, sciatica, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, herniated discs, and ear infections as well as immune and digestive problems. Restoring and protecting your body’s normal structural alignment is of paramount importance in maintaining optimal health.

Dr. Peter Braglia has served people of all ages and many health conditions. Use our website to find the latest in health news in our blog, and find out if customized chiropractic care is right for you or your loved ones. Experience the Structural Difference.

The 5 Most Common Chiropractic Questions

The 5 Most Common Chiropractic Questions

As a structural chiropractor – there are certain questions that I’m asked several times a week, every week – either by patients in the office, or by email, or at a party/function on the weekend. This post aims to answer the 5 most common questions I get, along with some sources when applicable so you can do some further research of your own.

1. “What kind of mattress should I be sleeping on?”

This is one I hear all of the time, and as much as I wish that there was ONE perfect mattress that worked for everyone – there just isn’t. However, what we do know is that a mattress that is more on the firm side is best. Any sagging often undermines mattress comfort and structural support. In fact, results of a recent systematic review show that a medium-firm mattress is optimal for promoting sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment.

2. “Once you start getting adjusted, do you have to keep going for the rest of your life?”

In our office, when it comes to the correction of your structural abnormalities – once we have reached our goal, you’re given a couple of options in terms of protecting what we have worked so hard to accomplish. While the structural corrective exercises that were prescribed will continue to help, most of our patients opt to come in once in a while, get checked, and if need be – receive a structural corrective chiropractic adjustment. There is no obligation to continue care, BUT to most patients, it makes sense to keep things in check with periodic visits.

3. “Is It bad to crack your own __________ (neck,back, hip, etc…)?”

Yes. It amazes me that someone would think it’s a good idea to self adjust it. It’s not the sound that is the problem (which comes from tiny gas bubbles within the fluid that lubricates your joints), it’s the way the thrust affects your spine. Self-manipulation, while a temporary rush and feel-good sensation, can create hypermobility and long-term structural problems.

In addition, people who self-manipulate tend to do it several times a day, every day. This causes ligaments to stretch and eventually become less stable – not a good thing when it comes to movement. This instability not only affects the mechanics of the spine, but also can predispose you to an injury.

4. ” Why would a baby/toddler/child need an adjustment?”

The primary reason is that the birth process is physically demanding for babies. A typical birth can place 60-90 lbs of force onto an infant’s head and neck. While most children are okay, these shifts have been associated with colic, constipation, sleep issues and trouble feeding. Early check ups can help prevent structural shifts from becoming a chronic problem.

In our office, we’re fortunate to have referrals from some excellent pediatricians and midwives who pick up on these symptoms and choose to recommend a safe, non-drug approach. We use very gentle corrections which help the child be more comfortable, typically after a handful of visits. It’s our experience that children who get adjusted often nurse better, are more comfortable, have regular bowel movements, sleep better, and have a stronger immune system.

5. “Are neck adjustments dangerous?”

In the past 10 years, you may have heard or seen billboards, ads, or words from doctors talking about the relationship between “spinal manipulation and stroke”. The truth is that chiropractors DO NOT cause strokes. People have strokes, are in pain, and end up seeing a doctor or chiropractor. This is not my opinion, a well designed study 5 years ago helped put this concern to rest. It showed NO ASSOCIATION between a visit to a chiropractor and a stroke. It studied thousands of people making over one million visits the offices of both chiropractors and medical doctors.

In a study of 19,700 patients and 50,000 adjustments, the most common reactions have been mild soreness, light headedness, and a minor tension headache after the first adjustment. More intense reactions were very rare and not specifically tied to the adjustment. Of course it can be easy to fall into the trap of what you might see in an article online or hearsay from someone who may not know any better (and may have ulterior motives). However, given the facts and applying a little common sense, I think you can see that chiropractic might be one of the safest forms of healthcare you may ever have the chance to experience.

The Safety of Chiropractic Care for Children

safety of chiropractic for children

As a parent, when it comes to our children – we would obviously pursue the least invasive approach to better their health. If you think about the degree of trauma associated with the birth process, starting with chiropractic care simply makes commons sense. Naturally, common sense alone is not enough to make a decision – parents should do their homework and look at reliable data concerning risk as well.

If you were to look at medicine, you would find that on average, at least 63,000 children under the age of six experience a non-hospital medication error every year. For every treatment or procedure in medicine that is seemingly “safe,” “free of risks” or “proven to be reliable,” there are many times that things go wrong (side effects, complications, and even death). Simply watching a television ad for any prescription drug will make it clear that nothing is without some degree of risk. As most parents are aware, the side effects associated with prescription drugs for many pediatric ailments, often include severe allergic reactions, paralysis, and even death.

Another thing to consider when it comes to your child’s health, is something we’re learning more and more about – the importance of our microbiome as children. 90% of the cells in our bodies are microbes – and those bacteria help create good immunity and lower risk for allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases. Antibiotics can also send bacteria into disarray, when given at birth or after. A recent study in the journal Cell Host & Microbe found a three-way link among antibiotic use in infants, changes in the gut bacteria, and disease later in life. Imbalances in gut microbes have been tied to infectious diseases, allergies and other autoimmune disorders, and even obesity later in life. With this in mind, if we could avoid antibiotic use in babies and children (for conditions such as ear infections) by using chiropractic care, who wouldn’t be interested in that?

Children represent a substantial portion of chiropractic patients. In a 2008 study published in the journal Pediatrics, Kemper, et al. reported up to 14 percent of all chiropractic visits were for pediatric patients. And yet, if you were to look at the risks associated with pediatric adjustments, you would see that rarely, if ever are there anything but positive outcomes. A 2011 literature review found that no serious adverse events have been reported in the scientific literature in the last 20 years. Given the research, it’s quite reasonable to conclude that modern pediatric chiropractic care is safe. But does it work?

Data from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s (ICPA) ground breaking study, The Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic: A Survey of Chiropractors and Parents in a Practice-Based Research Network, was recently published  in the biomedical journal, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. The most common reasons for parents seeking symptom relief care were muscles conditions, ear, nose, and throat, respiratory and digestive disorders. Out of 577 children, with 5438 visits, doctors reported only 3 aggravations. Out of 239 children, with 1735 visits, parents reported only two aggravations. These incidences were minor discomfort after the adjustment and were readily resolved with continued adjustments.

Both parents and doctors indicated a high rate of improvement with respect to the children’s presenting complaints. In addition to these improvements, respondents reported better sleeping patterns, improvements in behavior and, improved immune system function while under chiropractic care.

When there is strain, tension, pulling and stress placed on the child’s head and neck during the birth process, it very commonly leads to a structural shift. This will often times lead to secondary conditions (colic, constipation, difficulty feeding) that we see resolve when these misalignments are corrected in infants. In our office, kids who get adjusted tend to be more comfortable, have stronger immune systems, and reach developmental milestones appropriately…and they love getting adjusted. 

Eat. Sleep. Poop. Repeat.

eat poop sleep repeat

If your baby is having difficulty with any of these, chiropractic care can help.

Chiropractic care is concerned with the relationship between the spine and the nervous system. Since the nervous system mediates all development and regulation in the body – when the spine shifts and obstructs the nervous system – it can prevent the body from working normally and contribute to many issues. In this post, we’re discussing issues I commonly seen in newborn and toddlers.

Most parents of newborns know that their days seemed to be filled with a constant cycle of eating, sleeping and pooping. However, for some children – an issue can occur with one or more of these daily functions. Fortunately, chiropractic care can often help resolve these disturbances. The most common secondary conditions we see in children are broken down below:

  •  EAT: difficulty breastfeeding, spitting up/acid reflux
  • SLEEP: irritability, colic, difficulty sleeping
  • POOP: gas, constipation

The first question parents usually ask is, “How can my baby/child need chiropractic care already?” The primary reason is that the birth process is physically demanding for babies. The forces during birth can cause subtle shifts in the alignment of the spine or pelvis, creating tension in the nervous system. By correcting these shifts, we can and do see improvement in function and quality of life for patients suffering with these conditions.

In our office, we’re fortunate to have referrals from some excellent pediatricians and midwives who pick up on these symptoms and choose to recommend a safe, non-drug approach. We use very gentle corrections which help the child be more comfortable, typically after a handful of visits.

It’s our experience that children who get adjusted often nurse better, are more comfortable, have regular bowel movements, sleep better, and have a stronger immune system.

Avoid the “Health Halo”

Avoid the health haloWho would have thought that buying healthy food would become so difficult. These days, what you think you know about which products to select or how to read food labels often times turns out to be misconceptions. There are a number of health sounding terms that can confuse even the most educated shoppers. This is what is referred to as a health halo effect.

A “health halo” is the perception that a food is healthy, whether it truly is or not. This usually involves cleaver marketing and using buzz words such as all-natural, organic, paleo, gluten free, and/or non-GMO. While some of these products may be healthy – the majority are just processed junk food – albeit  organic, gluten-free junk food.

Marketers use these buzz words for a reason – research has shown that putting an organic label on ordinary foods can trick shoppers into paying up to 23 per cent more for them by believing they are healthier and taste better. Most of us aren’t intentionally buying junk food – we may just believe the hype that a food is healthy. After all, we’re just looking for healthy food to feed our families.

Instead of focusing on these labels – do the opposite – aim to fill 3/4 of your grocery cart with food that does NOT contain labels (as in, fruits and vegetables). When you see health claims, be skeptical – they’re only there to help sell a product (the front of the box is there to persuade – not inform). One of the many positives of eating whole REAL foods is that you know exactly what’s in them. And remember, if you anything with that green USDA-Organic stamp, you will be eating GMO-free food.

Lastly, the fact that you now know that there is a “health halo” will help you avoid it (your welcome).