Welcome.

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.

Author Archives: Peter Braglia, D.C.

Why Your Injury Isn’t Healing

heal

In our office, we see many patients who are not injured – they’re simply looking to make their bodies work more efficiently. After all, normal structure allows your body to operate smoothly and function at its best. But, for those who find their way into our office with an injury and those who may be contemplating a visit, this post is for you.

There are many reasons why an injury would not improve, here’s 5 that you may not thought of:

1. Not Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the cornerstones of health. Sleep is when your body is able to heal and repair. Aim for at least 7 hours of real sleep – as in not using any sleeping “aids” (they actually impair the ability to reach the deeper stages of sleep). So what can you do: try limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption during the day, keeping your bedroom cool, avoiding foods we may be sensitive to (sugar, grains, dairy), and getting some form of exercise daily (even walking as little as 30 minutes a day).

2. You’re Not Moving

I know, you’re injured – you think you should rest. The truth is that too much rest will actually delay your recovery. Most tissues recover more quickly from injury or trauma if they’re gently used. This means staying active after an injury – it does NOT mean doing things that will likely aggravate your condition.

3. Your Diet Stinks

Harsh yes, but often times bad dietary habits are a contributing factor to delayed recovery from an injury. Studies show that as the body heals it uses more energy to aid recovery (potentially increasing energy needs by 15%). This can mean that the calorific requirement may be more than anticipated, so think twice before cutting back – just make sure that all your calories come from nutrient-dense foods: fruit and vegetables, good fats and pasture raised protein. You should also increase your intake of wild caught fish (or supplement with a high quality fish oil) which are rich in omega-3 and have an anti-inflammatory effect.

4. Attitude Adjustment

Research has found that having a positive attitude and strong mental awareness is essential in an individual’s recovery, whether it be from a physical or mental injury. This is because stress and depression have been shown to compromise every system in the body. The mind is a powerful thing – you have to want to get better. So take part in your care, be committed to your exercises,and ensure you are eating well, sleeping, and doing lots of recovery work.

5. You’re Only Addressing Symptoms

Most chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists focus on relieving your symptoms. You can go to any one of these professionals – and there is no doubt that any one of them will make you feel better. However, if your injury is related to a structural shift of the spine, then you may require our care – Structural Chiropractic Care. Injuries are often a Secondary Condition of a Structural Shift. When the Structural Alignment is restored, problems related to abnormalities in the spine and nervous system resolve.

The body has an incredible ability to heal itself. When the body has the right nutrients, regular movement through exercise, a great mindset, and full function of the nervous system, it has a recipe for long lasting health.

Infantile Colic? What You Can Do

child colic

Infantile colic can be very stressful for parents whose baby is inconsolable during crying episodes. Colic is often defined by the “rule of three”: crying for more than three hours per day, for more than three days per week, and for longer than three weeks in an infant who is well-fed and otherwise healthy.

Medications available in the United States have not been proved effective in the treatment of colic, and most behavior interventions have not been proved to be more effective than placebo.  So what options do parents have?

Pediatric Chiropractic

A recent systemic review published in the Cochrane Library, evaluated the results of studies designed to address the efficacy of hands on therapies (specifically, chiropractic, osteopathy and cranial manipulation) for infantile colic in infants less than six months of age.

The authors concluded that majority of clinical trials seemed to indicate parents of infants using this type of care for colic reported fewer hours of crying per day and was statistically significant. The trials also indicate that a greater proportion of those parents reported improvements that were clinically significant.

George Lewith, MA, DM, FRCP, MRCGP, professor of health research at the University of Southampton commented “the majority of the included trials indicate that the parents of infants receiving manipulative therapies reported fewer hours crying per day than parents whose infants did not. This difference is statistically significant and important for those families who experience this condition. These studies show that in this small sample there were no adverse effects from using these treatments.”

Few parents understand the importance of the brain’s control over the digestive system in their child. The brain controls digestion, along with many other functions, through the Autonomic Nervous System. However, the messages have to travel unimpeded from the head to the body. As a Structural Chiropractor, I know that stressful births (even C-sections) can strain the head and neck (a typical birth can place 60-90 lbs of force onto an infant’s head and neck), causing subtle shifts in the spine leading to interference in the nerve signals between the brain and the digestive system. Early check ups can help prevent structural shifts from becoming a chronic problem.Continue Reading

Performance and Prevention With Chiropractic

performance chiro

Recent research from New Zealand has found that Chiropractic care may reduce gym and fitness-related injuries while also improving performance.

According to Dr Heidi Haavik, Director of Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, the inability of some people to properly activate and control their core muscles when engaging in exercise, predisposes them to injury – particularly in the lower back. This may be reversible with regular chiropractic care.

“We know that delayed trunk muscle reflex responses increase the risk of low back injuries. Research suggests that this is partly due to a failure of the brain to predict what is going to happen during some movements. There is now accumulating evidence that chiropractic care may play a part in improving the ability of the brain to engage the core muscles appropriately and stabilize the spine”, states Dr Haavik.

The nervous system plays such an essential role in our bodies, especially when it comes to our fitness. Your nervous system connects to every system in your body – from your muscles and bones, down to your organs, it even controls things like your immune system. In many ways, it’s like the electrical system of your house with your brain acting as the power source. When there is interference to the nervous system (a structural shift in your spine) your electrical system will not work properly. When it comes to athletic performance, this interference results in an inability of the brain to activate the core muscles in time – which may be the cause of many gym and fitness-related injuries.

It’s important to note that poor nervous system coordination will not manifest itself as a ‘symptom’ until it is too late. So, if you’re only using chiropractic care as pain management – you’re missing out on this performance and prevention benefit.

Chiropractors and elite athletes have know for years that chiropractic care helps them perform at an optimal level – it seems that now science is finally starting to catch up and demonstrate how it actually works. From Dr. Haavik:

“Chiropractic care improves the communication between the brain and body and results in better control of the core muscles during body movements, so that your spine is at less risk of injury. We are also starting to see research developing which suggests that a single session of chiropractic care may improved muscle activation and increase muscle contractions equivalent to findings following three weeks of strength training. This line of research also suggests chiropractic care may possibly reduce muscle fatigue developing during strong contractions.”

In our office, we see Athletes, Crossfitters, Triatheletes, and Runners – and guess what? Most of them don’t have back pain, but are actually looking to make their bodies work more efficiently. After all, normal structure allows your body to operate smoothly and at its best.

You Are As Old As Your Spine

aging spine

Aging is not just the number of years you’ve inhabited planet Earth, but rather the degree of wear and tear your body, brain, and vital organs are expressing at a given point in time.Ronesh Sinha, MD

A spine with too much, too little, or improper movement directly affects the wiring and firing of nerves that come from your brain and travel down your spinal cord. Your brain and spinal cord act like the world’s most powerful computer chip which requires a proper information and power supply to work properly. Movement of the spine dictates how information is received in the brain through tiny little nerve ending’s called mechanoreceptors. The spine also houses critical nerves, arteries, and veins that carry food and waste in and out of the brain and spinal cord.

This is why – regardless of disease or symptoms – a healthy, properly moving, aligned spine is so essential to our health. By restoring motion to the spine (via the chiropractic adjustment), changes will begin to occur, such as: decrease in stress signals and stress hormones, decrease inflammation, and pain (if present) will subside. Most important of all, it results in a healthy body-brain neurological communication which is essential for overall health.

When it comes to your spine – the things we do on a daily basis are either moving us towards a healthy spine or away from health and towards a degenerating spine. Research shows that a joint (aka your spine) that has lost a degree of its normal movement will begin degenerating at a rate measurable within one week of onset. It’s important to realize that this degenerative process will continue, often painlessly, until significant degeneration has occurred. This is a big reason why you don’t need to be in pain to have chiropractic care in our office.

The following are the good and bad in keeping your spine as young as possible:

The Good

  • Periodic chiropractic checkups – Regardless of symptoms, the research shows we are much healthier with a properly moving spine than without.
  • Stretch regularly - Consider how inflexible most people are – how do you think they got that way? Muscles abide by the “use it or lose it” principle. Avoid this fate by isolating key muscle groups and giving them a good daily stretch (Patients in our office receive customized stretches based on their individual needs).
  • Proper hydration – Your spine and its supportive structures work best when they’re hydrated. Most people will not drink enough water to replace their original fluid deficit, and this problem is exacerbated with age.
  • Daily exercise - Ideally we should be spending a good portion of our days walking, standing and moving in general. If we don’t our bodies rebel and health declines. Do some form of exercise that significantly raises your heart rate for 30 minutes at least four times a week.
  • Supportive sleep environment - Your bed and pillow should both help keep your body in natural alignment. Dated and flimsy mattresses stress your hips, pelvis, and back, which inevitably lead to chronic pain. Buy a quality pillow that keeps your head level, and use a good mattress that firmly (yet comfortably) prevents your spine from dipping or sagging while you sleep.
  • Be mindful of your postureThis applies to whatever you’re doing, whether you’re at work, home, in the car, at the gym, or simply standing up. Good posture has benefits; poor posture has consequences.
  • Proper nutrition –  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.

The Bad

  • Poor general posture (slouching) – With proper postural awareness, you can save years of wear and tear on the spine, and maintain full function of the delicate nervous system.
  • Sedentary lifestyle – A study done in over 2,000 identical twins who carry the same genetic material showed that the more active twins had longer, healthier telomeres than their genetically identical siblings.  The most active twins had genes that appeared 9 years younger than their inactive siblings. Spend less time on your computer/phone and move daily.
  • Stress – Chronic stress promotes inflammation and oxidative damage that is inflicted upon DNA, which increases disease risk and accelerates aging.
  • Sleeping on your stomach – Having your head and neck turned to one side while sleeping can significantly strain the muscles and ligaments of the spine. Repeatedly doing so every night for years slowly adds pressure to the joints and nerves, contributing to spinal degeneration and allowing for the development of a variety of health problems.
  • Neglecting your spine by not getting periodic chiropractic checkups – By restoring motion and removing nerve interference – you can begin to function how you were designed to.