How to Treat a Migraine Naturally

How to Treat a Migraine Naturally

Migraines can be crushing to someone’s everyday life. When these types of headaches typically hit, they can cause throbbing pain, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, and take the person suffering from one out of commission for a whole day.

If you suffer from migraines and want to try holistic, natural solutions, chiropractic care is an excellent way to ease the occurrences of migraines naturally. But there are other, natural ways to treat migraines.

Pursuing the natural route to treating migraines

Here at Greenville Spine, there are no needles or prescriptions. Everything that happens in our office- and what we instruct our patients to do at home – are holistic and natural ways of aligning the spine correctly so the body can function in the most optimal way possible.

Some people are hesitant to take any kind of medications, even over-the-counter common painkillers like Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Maybe these medications cause unwanted side effects like stomach problems, digestive issues, or even insomnia. But they also want to end their migraine fast so do they deal with the side effects and hope the medications work or do they seek out a more natural solution?

5 ways to treat migraines naturally

According to the American Migraine Foundation, there are several ways to help prevent migraines. These may seem obvious but for a lot of people who are busy with work, family, and other obligations, these necessary ways to prevent migraines fall to the wayside.

  • Sleep: Sleep is essential to a healthy body. Our bodies are designed to sleep and refresh. If deep sleep doesn’t happen – or if a person isn’t getting enough sleep – our immune system can be compromised, our brains become foggy, and migraines can happen. The same can be said for too much sleep as well. It’s important to have a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Scalp massage: A scalp massage can help promote blood flow and provide pressure to points around the head that usually are tight when a person has a migraine. Sometimes, a person’s scalp may be too sensitive for a massage so caution should be used.
  • Ice: Ice or a cold compress can slow or stop a migraine from coming on when applied to a person’s neck or temple area. Ice should not be applied for longer than 15 minutes though.
  • Proper hydration: Dehydration is so common but also so avoidable. The human body needs a constant intake of water to survive and thrive. When the body lacks water, systems don’t work as well as they should and migraines can be a result of dehydration. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
  • Exercise: At Greenville Spine, part of most treatment plans are some types of gentle exercises to help the body hold spinal adjustments. These are key to holistic treatment. Moving around daily, even if it is a 30 minute walk, is immensely helpful to making sure the body is functioning properly.

Patient Testimony

Chiropractic care is a holistic and natural way to maintain optimal wellness and lead a pain-free life. This is what one of our patient’s said about her chiropractic treatment to address migraines at Greenville Spine:

I was taking 12 Advil tablets per day every day to manage my pain. I was suffering from chronic migraines, IBS, and a complete lack of energy. Someone referred me to Dr. Lewis. I was hesitant, but decided I had nothing to lose. I was put at ease with the friendly staff and Dr. Lewis explained everything to me. After the unique approach of incorporating chiropractic care and nutrition, I have seen great results! I now have not taken any medications in over a month, I feel great! ~ Brenda R., Simpsonville, SC

Persistent Migraines

If you’re experiencing persistent migraines or taking an excessive amount of over-the-counter medication to no avail, it is important to see a medical professional. At Greenville Spine, we are happy to do a personal consultation to see if chiropractic treatment would be a viable option for your care. Give us a call to schedule your initial assessment. We’ll listen to you. We’ll talk about options. And hopefully we’ll get you on a path to living that life you want without migraines. Give us a call at (864) 631-1420.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help with Seasonal Allergies

How Chiropractic Care Can Help with Seasonal Allergies

While Greenville, SC consistently ranks on national lists of best places to live, retire, and visit, it also ranks in the top 10 Allergy Capitals of the country. This basically means that people here use allergy medication at higher rates than in other states and that allergens like pollen, ragweed, and mold are very high.

So it’s no surprise that many people who live in the Upstate suffer from seasonal allergies. Did you know that consistent chiropractic care can often aid in easing symptoms of allergies?

How the Body Reacts to Allergens

Watery eyes, itchy skin, red blotches, overall exhaustion – these are all common symptoms of those who suffer with seasonal allergies. These are reactions the body causes when it comes in contact with allergens.

The immune system essentially overreacts and produces antibodies to attack the allergens. Those antibodies activate mast cells, which then produce histamines, which lead to inflammation. This is why many allergy medications include antihistamines.

The body then tries to counteract histamines by producing the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is great in small amounts since it can help reduce inflammation, but in higher amounts, it does the opposite plus weakens the immune system. It also places the body on high alert as it can trigger a “fight or flight” reaction. Consistently high levels of cortisol in the body can throw off sleep cycles and leave a person stressed and exhausted.

Inflammation and Seasonal Allergies

If you’ve read any other blogs here on our Greenville Spine website, you’ll know that reducing inflammation is a key pillar in chiropractic care. The overproduction of histamines and cortisol due to seasonal allergies can cause inflammation in the body.

Not only is inflammation uncomfortable because of allergy symptoms but it often can cause joint pain, sleeping issues, limited mobility, and loss of range of motion. Chiropractic care targets inflammation specifically for these reasons.

Using Chiropractic Care to Help with Seasonal Allergies

Another important thing to know about seasonal allergies and chiropractic care is that your spine controls everything in your body because it is those nerves within the spine that communicate with your brain and how it sends out signals to the rest of your body. If those nerves – the lines of communication – aren’t open, then signals won’t get to where they need to be. This can happen if the spine is out of alignment. If your brain isn’t communicating effectively when your body comes into contact with an allergen, it won’t be able to send signals on how the body should react properly.

Cortisol is produced by the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands. If the spine is not aligned correctly, the brain cannot communicate effectively with the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands. Signals get crossed and the body’s natural balance of hormones is thrown off.

Through consistent and individualized chiropractic care, your spine can be in proper alignment, ensuring open communication throughout the body. And that can work wonders for how your body responds to seasonal allergies.

Natural Care with No Side Effects

Ever feel like those allergy medications leave you listless and tired? With chiropractic care, there are no side effects. No lethargy. No anxiety or sleepiness.

But the benefits of chiropractic care go far beyond seasonal allergies: we at Greenville Spine work with every single patient to create for them an individualized treatment plan to address whatever is bothering them. Oftentimes, just through work, play, and daily lives, the spine gets out of alignment, causing back pain, neck pain, sleep issues, hip pain, or headaches. These are all issues that can be addressed during individualized and personal care – in addition to working with those stubborn seasonal allergies.

Taking the First Step to Seasonal Allergy Relief

If you want to see what we can do for your allergies, call us at 864.631.1420 to make an appointment for a consultation. Every patient is different and we recognize they all need different, individualized treatment plans. We can’t wait to meet you and help you achieve a pain-free and allergy-free life.

Patient Transformation: Back Pain Relief “They are difference makers”

Patient Transformation: Back Pain Relief “They are difference makers”

Joel, 63, began seeing Dr. Kevin P. Lewis at Greenville Spine about five years ago because he had been suffering from severe back pain for many years. He says the treatment he received was nothing short of “miraculous.” 

Long Term Injuries

Like many patients at Greenville Spine Institute, Joel had been suffering from back issues for several years. Sometimes they were mild muscle pulls but other times they stemmed from previous injuries, like the one he had playing football as a young man. By the time he was in his late 20s, he had a terrible time at his job as a lawyer and had to be on his back for almost two months. 

He was being treated by physicians and an orthopedic, who confirmed that his more pressing back pain was not a disc issue but rather the result of his injury not healing properly. 

“I was treated with injections and I did recover but I did not find out until much later when I went to Dr. Lewis that my current back issues had completely changed my gait and spine alignment, which was a key source of the pain,” said Joel. 

Finding Dr. Lewis 

Ten years ago, my back went out on Labor Day Weekend and I went to a local chiropractor who was recommended to me by some of my work colleagues. The adjustments helped Joel to feel better but his back pain persisted and he was still limited in what he could do physically, which for him, was perfecting his golfing game. 

Another five years goes by when Joel throws his back out again. By this time, he was motivated to get to the root of the problem and find long term solutions. He knew chiropractic care could help but by this time, he had already seen three of them to no avail. 

It was because of a recommendation of one of his wife’s colleagues that he ended up with an appointment at Greenville Spine. His wife’s friend had been going to Dr. Lewis to treat her injuries resulting from a car accident and she couldn’t say enough good things about his practice. That was all it took for Joel to make the appointment. 

Aggressive Treatment 

Joel immediately felt like Dr. Lewis listened to him right from that initial visit and sought to address his specific needs.

“What impressed me was the entire medical workup with x-rays and analysis,” said Joel. “I had been living with this condition of constant back pain for the last 10-15 years. By that time,  did have severe lower disc issues and was leaning dramatically to one side of my side, which was affecting the alignment of my spine.”  

Dr. Lewis came up with an aggressive treatment plan for Joel, which involved office visits and adjustments weekly. Joel agreed. 

“I couldn’t keep having these issues so I opted for the aggressive track,” he said. 

So how did it all go for Joel?

“I don’t use this word lightly but it was miraculous,” he said. “It was astounding how well it worked.”

Today, five years later, Joel still sees Dr. Lewis for maintenance and still has his original stretches that he does to stay on track. 

“Not to exaggerate, but Dr. Lewis’ treatment has been the difference between worrying that I’m going to be down versus living a more complete life,” said Joel. “It’s not just the back, which is bad enough, but I was really hesitant to participate in the things I love like golfing and hiking. Now I don’t worry about it.” 

Continuing Treatment

Joel loves to live a pretty active life and sometimes injuries will still happen. But Joel credits his consistent treatment with Dr. Lewis to being able to bounce back quickly. 

For example, just last week, Joel was out of town golfing and while bumping around on the golf cart, his back got knocked out of alignment. As soon as he got back into town, he called Miranda, who got him an appointment immediately. That was a Tuesday afternoon. 

“Dr. Lewis did a more comprehensive adjustment since he knew how much pain I was in and by Thursday, I was virtually back to normal. If I hadn’t had the previous experience with him as a patient going through consistent treatment, there’s no way I would have bounced back as fast,” said Joel. 

Advice for Those Suffering from Pain 

Joel was never one to discount chiropractors. He had already gone to three of them by the time he came to Dr. Lewis. 

“Dr. Lewis is the fourth and final one. The treatment and follow-up they do is far beyond the others,” he said. “I am a real advocate for chiropractic and especially for him.”

But the real impact that Dr. Lewis and his team has made on Joel goes well beyond his visits to the office, the nutritional advice he has received, and the complete care and follow-up he continues to receive. 

“They are huge difference makers in my ability to enjoy my life,” said Joel. “This treatment has made a profound difference in my life and I credit Dr. Lewis with that.”

Ready for your back pain transformation story? 

If you’re ready to take that next step in addressing long term back pain, healing your immediate aches and pains, or just maintaining your overall health, give us a call at Greenville Spine. We would be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss treatment options. Call us at (864) 631-1420 and let’s get you started on accomplishing all your health goals.

 

Easy New Years Resolution: Take a Break and Stretch

Easy New Years Resolution: Take a Break and Stretch

We aren’t going to bog you down with more January resolutions. We are sure you have enough to worry about. So here’s what we are going to challenge you with for 2024: take a few breaks every day, stretch your neck, shoulders, back, and legs, and feel the stress relief. Easy, right?

Stretching is a crucial component to chiropractic care and we’ll tell you why and how to get started.

Why Stretching Matters

Dr. Kevin P. Lewis takes care of many, many athletes at Greenville Spine Institute. These include former athletes, casual joggers, hikers, teenage track stars, and everyone in between who likes to get moving. Stretching can be a bore for people who love to move. Yet it is incredibly important to incorporate into daily routines, whether you’re an athlete or not.

Stretching not only feels great when done correctly but it also promotes wellness throughout your entire body and aids in the work being done during your regular chiropractic appointments.

Stretching and Aging

Did you know that muscles tighten with age? This is often due to normal changes in the nervous system and muscle tissue. Muscles often become weaker as one ages. This can inhibit range of motion, reduce flexibility and lead to stiffness in the joints making some activities more difficult.

There is good news, though. Studies suggest that regular exercise in addition to resistance training are excellent ways to retain muscle strength. And stretching has also been proven to aid in flexibility and strength as the years pass by, which helps blood flow and circulation.

When you see Dr. Lewis at Greenville Spine, you’ll be given a set of stretching exercises to complete regularly. These are an important aspect of your care and if not regularly, you’ll see a marked difference in your flexibility. In combination with adjustments, patients find their injuries heal faster, adjustments stay in place longer, and pain is reduced.

Specific Stretches

If you are not yet a patient of the Greenville Spine Institute or need a refresher on the stretches you are supposed to be doing at home, here are several to get you started:

Shoulder Stretch

Stand just outside the door frame, put each hand on a door frame and lean forward. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat 10 times a couple times a day or as needed. You should feel a stretch in the front of your chest.

Glutes Stretch

Sit in a chair, bend the knee and pull one leg up at a time to your chest. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg. Repeat 10 times on both legs. You should feel a stretch in your glutes and hips.

Neck Stretch

Sit in a chair with your back straight. Hold one side of the chair and turn your head to the side opposite your hold and look down towards the ground. Lean away from the hand holding the chair till you feel a stretch in your neck and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times each side. This should feel pretty good and help loosen your neck.

Lower Back Stretch

Sit in a chair and put one ankle over the opposite knee and lean forward so your chest is over your knee, or as close as possible. Hold for 5-10 seconds for each leg. Repeat 10 times for each leg. You should feel a stretch in the back of the leg that is over the knee and into your lower back. This can also help with sciatica.

So there you go – four easy stretches you can do a couple times a day for a New Years resolution that is attainable.

Living a Pain-Free Life

If you’ve been experiencing pain and don’t know where to turn, give us a call at Greenville Spine. We would be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss treatment options. Give us a call at (864) 631-1420 and let’s get you started on accomplishing all your health goals.

Eat This, Not That Chiropractic Edition

Eat This, Not That Chiropractic Edition

While we’ve discussed why your diet matters when it comes to chiropractic care and how it helps to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, the holidays give all us plenty of tasty options when it comes to food. But choosing which foods to consume are vitally important to your health, especially since the holidays usually bring more stress and less time to be intentional about exercise and diet.
So here are some easy food choices to be sure you keep your body healthy during the busy holiday season while continuing your chiropractic care routine.

Fish & Meat

Eat This: Salmon
Eat salmon or other wild-caught fish like tuna or mackerel due to their high omega-3 fatty acids, which help ensure proper brain function and reduce inflammation.

Not That: Meatballs
Red meat, and especially processed meat, has been shown to trigger inflammation, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Your chiropractic treatment plan is trying to lessen inflammation to reduce pain.

Grains

Eat This: Quinoa or Barley
Whole grains have crucial vitamins and minerals that white pasta and bread are lacking. These whole grains can help keep you full longer and regulate blood sugar levels.

Not That: Pasta
Refined and processed grains have been stripped of the nutrients that make them so healthy in the first place. Try to limit processed flour and products like pasta that are made from it.

Rice

Eat This: Brown Rice
Brown rice is a whole grain, which means the outer part of the rice kernel has not been removed, keeping all the nutrients inside intact. Fiber and antioxidants are higher in brown rice than white rice.

Not That: White Rice
White rice is processed so that most of the nutrients are removed. While it does lack the amount of fiber and antioxidants that brown rice has, it does retain some of them so it’s not totally a non-nutritious food.

Chicken

Eat This: Grilled Chicken
Chicken is a lean meat that when grilled or baked, is a healthy option to other meats when on an anti-inflammatory diet. It has not been shown to reduce inflammation but it also doesn’t encourage it. When you have the option to eat chicken, baked, grilled, or boiled is the way to go.

Not That: Fried Chicken
Any fried food is going to have unhealthy amounts of saturated fats, processed flour, and a number of other ingredients that are terrible for a body that is trying to reduce inflammation.

Drinks

Drink This: Tea
Tea is known for its phytochemicals, which reduce inflammation. Green tea is especially potent in these properties and for centuries, people have used it to aid in inflammation disturbances throughout the body.

Not That: Soda
Soda is one of those beverages that anyone who is trying to reduce inflammation and pain needs to stay away from. The added sugars and artificial sweeteners will take a toll on your body as blood sugar is spiked and cells try to process all the extra sugar.

Vegetables

Eat This: Fresh veggies – carrots, leafy greens, squash
Obviously fresh vegetables are always going to win out over other unhealthy foods but it’s because they are so good for the body. They protect against a wide variety of diseases and are a wonderful source of antioxidants.

Not That: Cookies & sugary treats
We know cookies > veggies but if you must indulge, keep it in moderation. Like soda, anytime the body needs to process excess sugar, immunity can be compromised as those cells work harder to get it out of the body, secreting hormones that cause inflammation. A sustained diet of sugary and fatty foods can lead to a host of health problems like diabetes and obesity, both of which will negatively affect your spine and comfort.

Living a Pain-Free Life

If you’ve been experiencing pain and don’t know where to turn, give us a call at Greenville Spine. We would be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss treatment options. Give us a call at (864) 631-1420 and let’s get you started on accomplishing all your health goals.