The Winsor Autopsies

  • Written by Dr. Lucas Szczepanik B.Sc., D.C.

    Many people see chiropractors every year for various reasons. The most common response for why they see a chiropractor is “to get my back/neck cracked”. Although chiropractors prefer to call it getting “adjusted”, it is true that the adjustment can produce a loud cracking noise. We should all be fully aware that the cracking sound is simply gas/air being released from the joints within the spine. But do these adjustments do more than simply make your back pain & neck tension/headache go away or is their another effect?

    Every chiropractor in Canada will tell you that the nervous system (composed of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves) is the most important in the body, dictating how every other organ and system in the body functions. Chiropractic helps to remove interference from the nervous system which can be the result of misalignments or a loss of normal range of motion within the vertebrae (bones that make up the spinal cord). These misalignments can put pressure on spinal nerves therefore interfering with the information being sent from the brain to the rest of the body. Keeping proper structure and function within the spine will help maintain homeostasis and equilibrium in the entire body. A concept well accepted within the chiropractic community.

    This is also a concept the medical community has had difficulty accepting because of the lack of direct scientific evidence. They agree that the nervous system is vital in the body’s performance, but how do you prove a negative effect from vertebral misalignments? (spinal bones out of place in relation to the ones above and below)

    Dr. Henry Winsor, a medical doctor in Haverford, Pennsylvania, decided to conduct an experiment in an attempt to prove the claims chiropractic has made. In a series of three studies he dissected a total of seventy-five human and twenty-two cat cadavers (cadaver is the name for the body once deceased). Dr. Winsor wrote: “the object of these dissections was to determine whether any connection existed between minor curvatures of the spine, on the one hand, and diseased organs on the other; or whether the two were entirely independent of each other”. Dr. Winsor had found nearly a 100% correlation between ‘minor curvatures’ of the spine and diseases of internal organs. His results were as follows: 221 structures other than the spine were found diseased. Of these, 212 were observed to belong to the same nerve segments as the vertebrae in curvature. 9 diseased organs belonged to different nerve segments from the vertebrae out of line…

    Dr. Winsor’s results DO NOT conclusively prove that an unhealthy spine will cause organ disease, but his research is one more step towards proving what every chiropractor already knows………..a healthy spine will dictate a healthy body. Keep in mind that there are many other factors to consider when talking about a healthy body. Proper spinal health is essential, but so is the quality of the air you breath, how much water you drink, your eating habits, the amount of exercise you get, the level of stress within your body, the use of drugs and alcohol etc…

    Although there are individuals who do not fit the chiropractic patient profile, everyone should at least visit a chiropractor for a consultation. It is unfortunate that our society bases healthy as “feeling good” or to be “without pain”, because we are all prone to neglecting the health of our spine. Long hours in front of the computer, falling off a bike, improper lifting, long hours driving a vehicle, maintaining repetitive movements at work or working in awkward positions, playing hockey on the weekend……….the list goes on and on and it all effects the function of your spine. Regular checkups from your chiropractor are essential, and it never hurts to share the benefits of chiropractic with your loved ones, friends, and co-workers.



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