Study Reveals Relationship of Spine to Health

Dr. Henry Winsor, a medical doctor in Haverford, PA asked the question:


“Chiropractors claim that by adjusting one vertebra, they can relieve stomach troubles and ulcers; by adjusting another, menstrual cramps; and by adjusting other conditions such as kidney diseases, constipation, heart disease, thyroid conditions, and lung disease may resolve- but how?”

He decided to investigate the new science and art of Chiropractic by examining spines to determine whether any connection existed between minor curvatures of the spine and diseased organs.  The University of Pennsylvania granted Dr. Winsor permission to carry out his experiments, in which he dissected a total of 75 human and 22 cat cadavers in a series of three studies.  The studies were published in The Medical Times in 1921 and are found in any medical library. The results were as follows:


“Two hundred twenty-one structures other than the spine were found diseased. Of these, 212 were observed to belong to the same sympathetic (nerve) segments as the vertebrae in curvature. Nine diseased organs belonged to different sympathetic segments from the vertebrae out of line.”

These figures cannot be expected to exactly coincide because “an organ may receive sympathetic filaments from several spinal segments and several organs may be supplied with sympathetic (nerve) filaments from the same spinal segments.  In other words, there was nearly a 100 percent correction between minor curvatures of the spine and diseases of the internal organs. 


Throughout his research studies, Dr. Winsor found key observations such as:


  1. “Sympathetic disturbances are just as likely to cause functional or organic disease in viscera, by altering the blood-supply of viscera.” 
  2. “That it was rare to find an organ diseased which was not supplied by the same nerves as the vertebrae in curvature.”
  3. “That even where no bony exudates was found, there was intense rigidity of the segments, showing that fibrous or callous exudates could irritate the sympathetic nerves.” Effects of subluxation
  4. “The organs were in many instances affected by acute disease, while the deformed vertebrae proved that the curvatures preceded the organic diseases…”
  5. “The disease appears to precede old age and to cause it. The spine becomes stiff first and old age follows. Therefore, we may say a man is as old as his spine.”


Here is a chart showing diseases with correlating observations in spine. 

Diseases Examined Results- All cases had spinal misalignments in the following areas:
Stomach Diseases mid- thoracic region (T5-T9)
Lung Disease upper thoracic spine
Liver Disease mid thoracic region (T5-T9)
Gallstones mid thoracic region (T5-T9)
Pancreas mid thoracic region (T5-T9)
Spleen mid thoracic region (T5-T9)
Kidney lower thoracic region
Prostate and Bladder Disease lumbar spine (L2-3)
Uterus lumbar spine (L2)
Heart Disease upper thoracic region (T1-T5)

Key Points

  1. Curvatures of the spine adversely affect the sympathetic nervous system.
  2. The sympathetic nervous system controls the blood supply to the viscera, and is therefore related to all visceral diseases and pathology; correlating to the levels of nerve involvement.
  3. Prolonged abnormal spinal posture stretches the sympathetic nervous system, causing over stimulation, reduced blood supply to visceral organs, resulting in pathology.
  4. Abnormal spinal curvatures precede organ diseases.
  5. Spinal disease precedes and determines old age. Abnormal spinal curvature causes sympathetic irritation, vascular spasm, arterial hardening, and age related illnesses.


This research highlights the importance of your spine in relation to overall health. Chiropractic helps improve the structure and function of your spine and nerve system.  The nerve system coordinates every system of the body.  Interference in nerve pathways creates dis-ease in the communication between your brain and body.  Chiropractors adjust the spine to clear nerve interference, supporting the body’s innate ability to heal naturally.  Who do you know that can benefit from Chiropractic?  Get your spine checked regularly by a principled Chiropractor to maintain optimal health.  



Winsor, H. Sympathetic segmental disturbances – II. The evidences of the association, in dissected cadavers, of visceral disease with vertebral deformities of the same sympathetic segments, The Medical Times, November 1921, pp. 267-271


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