Health is undoubtedly one’s greatest asset; without health, nothing else matters. It allows you to live out the quality of life you desire, fulfill dreams, enjoy hobbies, friends and family, and accomplish what you have been placed on this planet to fulfill.

Unfortunately, many perceive health as simply “feeling good.” By aligning with that definition of health, one would be healthy until a symptom, disease process or pain is felt.

In 1946, the World Health Organization defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Think about how different things would be if we were to focus on creating health from the inside out instead of waiting until the symptom arrives. The health of our communities would be drastically different.

Healing coming from within our bodies—called innate intelligence—is more powerful than anything man can create. The difference between educated and innate intelligence is that educated intelligence is learned from birth; innate intelligence is what makes your heart beat, lungs breathe, hair grow and cuts heal.

Every function of the body originates from the brain. It sends messages on how to heal, function and operate down the spinal cord, over nerves, and out to every single organ and
tissue in the body.

The spine is made up of 24 moveable vertebrae surrounding and protecting the spinal cord and nerves. Your spine plays multiple critical roles, allowing for movement and being a foundation to support bodyweight.

The spine’s most vital role is that of protecting the spinal cord and the nerves that exit between each vertebra. Each serves a purpose in the function of the body, including sensory feedback to the body, controlling body movements via musculature, and providing function
to organs.

Unfortunately, the role of your nervous system is often overlooked until you feel pain such as a disc bulge. We neglect the fact that those very same nerves travel to organs and muscles.

Like a circuit breaker in your house, if a circuit is tripped, anything on the other side of that circuit does not function. When a nerve is damaged, whatever is on the other side cannot function and heal as it is designed to.

Nerves can be irritated or damaged in numerous ways. Subluxation is when one or more of the 24 moveable vertebrae move from their normal position and irritate, impinge or damage a nerve, altering its neurologic communication from brain to body. Subluxations can occur from traumas, falls, automobile accidents, repetitive injury such as years performing computer work or even manual labor.

It is easily recognizable when sensory nerves are affected but not so much how it affects nerve muscles or organs. When a sensory nerve is affected, it can be perceived in the form of a pain, ache, or numbness. For example, there are a complex set of nerves that exit the vertebra between the skull and the top two vertebrae; if affected, these nerves, which wrap around the head, can create a headache.

The arms and legs have nerve innervation that functions very similarly. The arms receive their information from multiple nerves exiting the spine at the lower neck and upper back. The legs receive these messages from multiple nerves exiting the spine in the lower back and tail bone region. Subluxations and irritations to nerves in the aforementioned regions can give rise to neck and shoulder symptoms, as well as pain into the shoulder, arm and hand. Where the symptom is perceived depends on which nerve is affected. For the low back, symptoms can be felt in the low back, buttock, and any part of the legs and feet.

The role of a chiropractor is to locate, detect and correct subluxations. When visiting a chiropractor, it is paramount that the doctor does a thorough history and examination—often consisting of orthopedic testing—to identify the causative factor of your health problems. Other testing tools that are helpful in identifying the cause include computerized nerve and muscle testing and X-rays, which allow your doctor to see inside your spine for things such as arthritis, curvatures, and misalignments of the neck, shoulders and pelvis.

Once subluxations are identified, removing or reducing them by spinal adjustments are critical to restore proper brain to body function.

Occasionally, someone may be nervous to receive their first adjustment. Your chiropractor will listen to these concerns and tailor your treatment protocols appropriately. There are countless methods designed to safely and effectively adjust your spine.

Other things your chiropractor should focus on are lifestyle and ergonomic factors that may be contributing to your condition today. Computer and deskwork are considered repetitive traumas. Your chiropractor may instruct you on how to make modifications to your office workstation to make it more ergonomically sound.

Spinal exercises and rehabilitation are also extremely important to stabilize structural corrections that have been made to the spine and limit your reoccurrence of the subluxation. Once the patient is out of the woods, the most important thing is prevention so the problem will not return. Exercising, nutritional modifications, and, most importantly, protecting your nervous system with routine periodic preventative care goes a long way. Investing in your health now will pay dividends later.

Dr. Mirante is a corrective care chiropractor and director of Coastal Chiropractic & Wellness in Madison, Connecticut. For information, call 203-245-8217 or visit