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.
Headaches are a secondary condition almost everyone can attest to experiencing. But why are they so common?
Headaches are the number one reason for purchase of over-the-counter drugs. Understandably, these medications offer a temporary solution to get through the day, which is sometimes necessary in this fast-paced world. Unfortunately, it does not take care of the cause of the headaches.
There are four main types of headaches: tension, migraine, cluster and rebound. Tension is the most common, accounting for 90% of all headaches – these result in contraction of the muscles in the neck and skull, and are due to stress, poor posture and Anterior Head Syndrome (AHS). When it comes to migraines, there are often known triggers, such as dehydration, caffeine, red wine and chocolate – but avoiding these may not always help. We are now realizing why: many migraine sufferers have headaches that stem from the nerves in the neck.
A recent article at CBS News explains what structural chiropractors have always known – dysfunction in the joints of your neck (a structural shift) can irritate nerves and lead to all sorts of symptoms (including migraines). Dr. Houman Danesh of Mount Sinai Hospital explains, “Essentially the joints start rubbing against each other, and that irritates the nerve that goes from the back of your neck to the back of your head, and can offset and trigger a nightmare.”
“Essentially the joints start rubbing against each other, and that irritates the nerve that goes from the back of your neck to the back of your head, and can offset and trigger a nightmare.”
Medicine is now starting to recognize the science behind chiropractic. The difference is the medical answer to this is to inject anesthesia into the area and temporarily reduce symptoms, which can help BUT it can also lead to further degeneration and damage of the joint since it’s not addressing the underlying cause – a structural shift in the spine.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to just restore normal function to the shifted segment of the spine and alleviate the nerve irritation causing the symptoms? Good news – that’s what we do everyday at True Health through a specific, gentle chiropractic adjustment.
When it comes to maintaining your structural alignment, what you do outside our office can have a huge impact. Here are some of the ways you can help get the best results in the shortest amount of time AND ensure that you’re not undoing your progress.
Sleep: Your bed and pillow should both help keep your body in natural alignment. Aim to sleep on your side or back. Choose a pillow that supports the head so that the neck vertebrae are neutral (level with the rest of your spine) and use a good mattress that comfortably prevents your spine from dipping or sagging while you sleep.
Work: The spine is architecturally designed for walking. Sitting in a chair is a very unnatural position for the spine. Plan to break up your sitting every 45 minutes. Make sure you have a high quality chair that has adjustable arms, height, lumbar support and ample padding.
Movement: Ideally we should be spending a good portion of our days walking, standing and moving in general. Support your newly straightened spine by engaging in an exercise routine that encourages strengthening the core and back muscles. Be consistent with your WebExercises custom stretches/exercises.
Diet: When the body has the right nutrients it is better able to heal itself. A nutrient-rich diet with a diversity of plants, healthy proteins and high quality, healthy fats actually feed and nourish your genes, slowing the degenerative process.
Automobile Ergonomics: Bring the steering wheel down and towards you to minimize reach. Increase the lumbar support until it fits your back with no gaps. If your vehicle doesn’t have one, you can purchase a lumbar cushion or use a rolled up towel to give you more lower back support. Keep your head against the headrest on long drives to avoid anterior head syndrome.
Sleep: Avoid stomach sleeping. Having your head and neck turned to one side while sleeping can significantly strain the muscles and ligaments of the spine. This results in negating the work of the adjustments and adding pressure to the joints and nerves. Avoid using more than one pillow – which can push the neck too far forward.
Work: Sitting for long periods of time. The fascia (which connects muscles) begins to set when you stay in one position for too long. If you’re hunched over a keyboard all day with rounded shoulders, this eventually becomes your normal posture.
Movement: Having a sedentary lifestyle. If you spend the majority of the day sitting and not active, you are setting yourself up for muscle stiffness, poor balance and mobility, and lower-back, neck, and hip pain.
Diet: Bad dietary habits are often a contributing factor to delayed recovery from an injury. Diets high in processed vegetable oils, sugar, and flour, ALL promote inflammation in the body. Not drinking enough water – keeping the body well hydrated is important to nourish the spinal discs and help keep them healthy.
Think of the electrical system in your home. When a power surge stresses the system, a circuit breaker trips to prevent the house from burning down. Now, what if the circuit that was tripped powered the refrigerator? The food inside would start to spoil unless you could get the power turned on before it was too late. As you can see – the problem is not the refrigerator, but the power to the refrigerator.
The tripped circuit breaker OBSTRUCTS the refrigerator’s power source preventing the refrigerator from operating efficiently. In regard to your body, when a structural shift is present, your nervous system is underpowered.
Why is this important? Your nervous system connects to every system in your body. From your muscles and bones, down to your organs like your heart and stomach. It even controls things like your immune system. In many ways, it’s like the electrical system of your house with your brain stem acting as the power source.
When our body has stress beyond our ability to adapt properly (like too many Christmas light strands plugged into a circuit), then the breaker will keep tripping (a recurring shift in the spine and associated secondary conditions).
Make sure your electrical system is working by getting all the necessary structural corrections, at True Health Chiropractic.
As a society, we need to stop thinking of exercise as something that requires a change of clothes and a warm-up – after all, you wouldn’t do either of those things in an emergency. Life is busy, and fitting in exercise can be tough – but it doesn’t have to be that hard. By making a few simple changes to your life, you’ll be in better shape in weeks. It’s worth the effort – as well as making you happier, there’s evidence that regular physical activity can protect you from everything from obesity to Alzheimer’s. To help, here are 6 ways to move more every day:
Simple, and yet so easy to avoid. It’s easy to rationalize taking the easy way – elevator, escalator, that cool motorized walkway thing at airports – because you’ve had a long day, or you’ve got a heavy bag, or because it barely burns any calories anyway, right? But that misses the point. There’s evidence that even minimal amounts of resistance exercise can increase your body’s levels of a substance called GLUT4, which encourages calories from food to be stored in muscle cells rather than as body fat – so even a single flight of stairs helps.
You’ve heard this one before, but it’s worth looking at the numbers to get the full picture. According to a 2012 study, participants who ran one mile burned 112 calories, but those walking a mile still burned 88. While running means preparation, getting changed, finding a shower and – depending on how fast you go – a level of unpleasantness that can be tough to get psyched up for. Walking is just walking. Get off the bus a stop earlier, or park a little farther away and enjoy your exercise – without any need for equipment.
We’ve addressed this over on over on this blog. Sitting down puts your body in neutral – it constricts circulation, slows your metabolism, shuts off muscles and tightens your connective tissues (fascia). Even exercising for an hour a day can’t do much to compensate for the 10 hours you spend slumping in a variety of chairs. But fortunately there’s a solution: just stand up. Take small breaks as frequently as possible. Go to the bathroom. Use a smaller water cup so you have to refill it more often. Do a lap around the office. Ask for a stand-up desk. Step outside for a minute to get some fresh air. Stand while you’re talking on the phone.
Yes, like a child. Here’s why: modern sofa technology has advanced to the point where you can remain essentially motionless through an entire Netflix streaming session, but if you sit on the floor for exactly the same amount of time you’ll be squirming, stretching, essentially changing position the entire time. If you’re feeling really motivated, this would also be an ideal opportunity to foam-roll away some of the aches and pains of everyday life – there’s a brief guide to that here.
In most countries, the deep squat is still part of everyday life – it’s just how you sit, relax, or go to the toilet. For many Americans, user of chairs and western toilets – – we probably haven’t done one in years. But you should – it’ll help enormously with your hip and ankle mobility, as well as providing you with a jolt of isometric exercise. Mobility expert Kelly Starrett suggests that you should be able to hold the position for 10 minutes, but if you can’t, just start with a minute at a time – it all counts, and it all adds up.
If you’re doing a lot of sitting – as in hunching over your desk or driving in a car all day – you should be doing pull-ups. They’ll counteract the computer-hunch, improve the health of your spine, build your arms and work your core muscles better than weighted crunches. Get a bar that clips over your door frame and aim to do one or two reps each time you pass through it during the day. Can’t do a pull-up? Try this: “Jump” to the top position, then lower yourself as slowly as you can – just for a rep or two. You’ll get there eventually.