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.

Patient Spotlight: Young Mom Gets Her Life Back with Chiropractic Care

Patient Spotlight: Young Mom Gets Her Life Back with Chiropractic Care

Mom of four kids, Ashli, was taking care of her baby one morning, bent over, and heard something in her neck crack. She was in a lot of pain and remembered seeing something about a chiropractor in her church’s bulletin so thought, why not, I’ll call him. 

That decision was the turning point in getting her body back to doing what it was supposed to do so she could enjoy life with children. 

The Prognosis

Like all new patients, Ashli had an extensive intake with Dr. Lewis, which included x-rays and a consultation on the findings of the (painless) tests. 

It turned out that Ashli had 7 subluxations (these cause inflammation) in her spine and her hips were completely misaligned, which made the rest of her body overcompensate for the imbalance. 

“I wasn’t having a lot of pain because I had lived with it for so long and my body had compensated for the imbalances for years,” she said.

That had led to Ashli not being able to do a squat without falling over. Additionally, she has scoliosis, which had hindered her spine health for years. She knew most of this going in to see Dr. Lewis, except the information about the subluxations, but like many women, just had dealt with the pain and aches for years. 

The Greenville Spine Institute Difference

The way that Dr. Lewis and his team at Greenville Spine handle new patients and the beginning of Chiropractic Care treatment made a world of difference to Ashli. She had been to another chiropractor in the Greenville area who had helped her with some pregnancy pain but did not have a long term plan in place for her to reach the goals she had.

“Dr Lewis’ treatment plan wasn’t just a snap-you-up-and-send-you-home kind of thing,” said Ashli. 

Ashli majored in biology at Clemson University so her appreciation for Dr. Lewis’ extensive knowledge and explanation of the functions of the body and what he was planning to do was immensely helpful. 

“What got me about Dr. Lewis was the way he explained things to me,” said Ashli. “I loved that he spoke in terms I understood, that he used scientific language to tell me what was going on in my body and was pragmatic. I also really liked the physical therapy part of the treatment – the exercises at home and the ice bed at the office.” 

When it came to discussing treatment options, she appreciated Dr. Lewis’ individualized plan for her. She knew she would also have to put in the work and wasn’t afraid to do her part to make the plan a success. 

The Results of Chiropractic Care a Year Later 

In the course of only a few months, from August – November, Ashli went from 7 subluxations down to just 1. Today, it’s been a year since she first walked into Dr. Lewis’ office and her life has totally changed.

Ashli said she has so much more range of motion in her neck, back, shoulders, and hips. And one side effect she wasn’t expecting even happened. 

“My clothes even fit better because my hips were rotated and one hip was higher than the other,” said Ashli. “The same thing was happening with my shoulders.”

Since her spine was aligned, the way she holds her head was also drastically different, as she stood straighter and put less pressure on her neck and shoulders. 

But the biggest difference she has noticed is that now she’s able to play with her kids, to run around with them at the park, to go to the gym and get in a good workout and not fall over trying to do squats. 

“I can do all the things I haven’t been able to do since college,” Ashli said. “Dr. Lewis has changed my life.”

Ready for your Chiropractic Care 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.

Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan to Help with Back Pain

Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan to Help with Back Pain

“You are what you eat”. Have you heard that? It’s an oft-repeated cliche because it’s true. It is incredibly important when it comes to your overall health when working with a chiropractor because certain foods you eat can contribute to inflammation, which is detrimental to the healing process your body needs.

You can read more about how your diet affects your back in a previous post but here, we’ll be talking about foods and meals that can specifically lessen inflammation to ease back pain. 

How your diet affects your back 

Foods that fight inflammation will have a positive effect on how your back, neck, and shoulders feel. Subluxations (misalignment of the vertebrae) often cause inflammation, pain and swelling around the joint, loss of range of motion, and limited mobility. The muscles of the lower back and abdomen are meant to work together to keep your spine aligned and healthy. When they are strained by extra weight and/or are inflamed, aches and pains develop. This can last for a long time and get worse if not properly addressed.

At Greenville Spine, we work to reduce those subluxations through regular adjustments but patients can also work to reduce the pain they cause through their diets. It will be from your refrigerator, not your medicine cabinet, where relief comes from. 

Top anti-inflammatory foods

Unprocessed foods are key to maintaining a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. These are some of the foods that are excellent for keeping inflammation down: 

  • Fruits like strawberries, oranges, blueberries, and cherries 
  • Kale, collards, spinach and other green, leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains like bran, oats, quinoa, barley 
  • Olive oil 
  • Nuts such as walnuts and almonds
  • Tomatoes
  • Fish like mackerel, tuna, sardines, and salmon
  • Flaxseeds, pumpkin and sesame seeds 

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet, which focuses a lot on healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, and leafy greens. 

To reduce inflammation, stay away from soda, sugar-sweetened drinks and foods, red meat, and fast food. These foods are the most unhelpful when trying to maintain a diet to ease back pain from inflammation. 

Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plans

Sure, it’s a great idea to include anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, but making meal plans and sticking to them can be the tough part. Here are several ideas to help you to work efficiently with your chiropractor through your diet to improve function and reduce back pain. You will find below suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. 

Breakfast 

  • Really Green Smoothie – this includes almond milk, a banana, avocado, kale, chia seeds, and honey.
  • Steel Cut Oats with Berries & Kefir – this filling breakfast is high in fiber and tastes delicious. 
  • Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes – these gluten-free pancakes are delicious and you can even double the recipe and freeze half for another day.
  • Scrambled Eggs with Tumeric – some studies1 have suggested that turmeric specifically aids in inflammation reduction so adding it to scrambled eggs really kicks up the anti-inflammatory properties of this breakfast dish.

Lunch

Snacks

  • Walnuts
  • Whole fruits like apples, pears, or peaches. Look for whatever is in season where you live as it will be the freshest. 
  • Dry-roasted almonds

Dinner

  • Garlic Butter Roasted Salmon with Asparagus and Potatoes – the omega-3s in the salmon are excellent for reducing inflammation and you can substitute your favorite vegetables for the side dish.
  • Chicken & Wild Rice Soup – for a comforting food during cooler weather, you can’t go wrong with this chicken soup dish. This is another good one to freeze for another night when you don’t have time to whip up dinner.
  • Easy Turmeric Chicken – this one pan dish is easy to make plus makes for easy cleanup. And with turmeric, you know it’s a great meal to help reduce inflammation.
  • Sheet-Pan Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts & Gnocchi – another easy dish where you cook everything in one pan essentially. This meal works in vegetables and a bit of potato for a filling and satisfying dinner.

Start your journey to a healthier back 

If you need help getting started on living a pain-free life and learning more about how your diet affects back pain, we are more than happy to help! The benefits of working with us at Greenville Spine are extensive due to the holistic and individualized treatment options. 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.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/
Patient Story: “I feel very good in Dr. Lewis’ hands and my body is very thankful.”

Patient Story: “I feel very good in Dr. Lewis’ hands and my body is very thankful.”

Tedra Coakley, 36, suffers from slight scoliosis in her back, but it wasn’t bothering her a lot and even though she experienced a significant amount of lower back pain, she didn’t seek any kind of extended treatment. Her story is one that many people will be able to relate to as she lived with regular back pain and eventually wanted to do something about it. It was through her treatment with Greenville Spine and Dr. Kevin Lewis that put her on the right track for her spine health and ultimately changed her outlook about taking care of her body with the right chiropractor. 

Lower Back Pain 

Tedra suffered from lower back pain for years and it eventually started to hinder her everyday life. 

“Just standing up and walking around for an extended period of time, I’d have pain in my lower back,” Tedra recalls. 

She ended up learning about the Greenville Spine Institute at a vendor event a few years ago and was impressed by what she learned so she made an appointment with Dr. Kevin Lewis for an initial consultation. 

“Sometimes just sitting for too long would contribute to the pain. I wanted to see if anything else was going on,” she said. 

Initial Consultation: “Cause for concern”

At the initial consultation appointment, Tedra had x-rays done, a multi-point exam, and sat with Dr. Lewis to discuss what was happening with her pain. After reviewing the x-rays, Dr. Lewis confirmed that Tedra had 18 subluxations and her L1 vertebrae (this is located in the mid-back) was functioning at 0%. 

“Well, that was cause for concern,” she said. 

Subluxations cause inflammation and pain in the body. The majority of patients at Greenville Spine often come into that initial appointment with multiple subluxations. Lower back pain is also a common complaint and after treatment, the vast majority of patients see significant improvement. Spoiler alert: that’s exactly what happened for Tedra. 

Pursuing Treatment Options 

Dr. Lewis put together a customized treatment plan to pinpoint adjustments for the subluxations and the L1 vertebrae. She went three times a week for four months straight and did the exercises at home that Dr. Lewis and his team suggested for her. 

“Throughout those four months, every time I’d go I would feel better and better,” Tedra said.

Two weeks after she started treatment with Dr. Lewis, she started working in a job where she would be on her feet for hours at a time. At first, she said she experienced initial soreness because she wasn’t used to that type of work but then the pain subsided as treatment continued and she works pain-free now.

Results + Unexpected Benefits

After those initial four months of treatment with Dr. Lewis, she went from 18 subluxations down to three and her L1 was functioning at 100%. Her appointments now have been reduced to every other week. 

While Tedra felt amazing, she came away with more than a healthy back. She’s learned that Dr. Lewis can do a lot more than just fix her initial concern of lower back pain. During her treatment, she had experienced a knee injury in her daily life and thought to bring it up during her regular chiropractor appointment. 

“I wondered if Dr. Lewis could adjust my knee and sure enough, yeah, he could,” she said. “If I ever had any issues, whether it’s my knee or my back, and couldn’t wait till my next appointment, I just called to see if they have any openings and they could always fit me in.”

Tedra was already an advocate of massage therapy but now recommends adding chiropractic care into self-care routines.

“I’ve had a great experience with Dr. Lewis and I recommend everyone go to a chiropractor,” Tedra said. “If someone has neck pain or has a headache or any type of ache or pain, I always ask them if they are seeing a chiropractor. I tell everyone because it has been such a tremendous help for me. The benefits are amazing.”

And maybe the best benefit of all is that after two years of treatment, Tedra feels younger than her age. 

“When I started going to Dr. Lewis, I was 34 years old but I felt like I was in my 40s. It’s not fun when your body feels broken all the time,” she said. “I’m 36 and I actually feel my age if not younger.”

Ready for your 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.

How Your Diet Affects Your Back

How Your Diet Affects Your Back

Why are we talking about food on a chiropractor website? Not only because what you eat matters to your overall health but because it also matters a great deal when it comes specifically to pain management. Your diet can affect your back. The food you eat can cause back pain. There are certain foods that cause inflammation, which is a huge factor in chiropractic care and something that adjustments seek to lessen because inflammation often causes joint pain. There are also foods that fight inflammation.

Food Matters

“You are what you eat” – it’s a cliche because it’s true. What you put into your body matters a great deal. An unbalanced diet that mostly consists of foods high in fat and sugar and processed foods increases the risk of obesity, which puts an incredible strain on the spine and abdominal muscles. This diet can affect your back and other elements of your health. On the contrary, eating a diet of healthy foods can fight inflammation and reduce pain.

Eating a balanced diet is no easy task, especially in today’s busy world where fast food is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to eat on the go. But that fast food is often so processed that most nutritional value has been removed and all that’s left is nothing but junk. One estimate from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System states that 75% of Americans aren’t getting the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. If you are feeling like you aren’t eating a balanced diet, you’re not alone. 

How a Healthy Diet Affects Your Back

Foods that fight inflammation will have a positive effect on how your back, neck, and shoulders feel. Subluxations (misalignment of the vertebrae) often cause inflammation, pain and swelling around the joint, loss of range of motion, and limited mobility. The muscles of the lower back and abdomen are meant to work together to keep your spine aligned and healthy. When they are strained by extra weight and/or are inflamed, aches and pains develop. This can last for a long time and get worse if not properly addressed.

At Greenville Spine, we work to reduce those subluxations through regular adjustments but patients can also work to reduce the pain they cause through their diets. 

Eating unprocessed foods with no added sugar is believed to help reduce inflammation. There are also “anti-inflammation” diets to follow if you want to dive more deeply into this kind of healthy, balanced eating. But the basic rule is to stay away from processed foods and instead eat more of these: 

  • Fruits like strawberries, oranges, blueberries, and cherries 
  • Kale, collards, spinach and other green, leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains like bran, oats, quinoa, barley 
  • Olive oil 
  • Nuts such as walnuts and almonds
  • Tomatoes
  • Fish like mackerel, tuna, sardines, and salmon
  • Flaxseeds, pumpkin and sesame seeds 

Foods That Cause Inflammation

Saving your back doesn’t come from a pharmacy but rather from your fridge. Harming your back comes from a kitchen also – usually a fast food one – and the snack and freezer aisles at the grocery store. 

Foods that cause inflammation, increase your risk of obesity, and strain your strain and joints are things like: 

  • Potatoes – french fries, chips, any kind of baked or fried potatoes
  • Soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks 
  • Sugar-sweetened fruit juices
  • Processed meats like bacon, salami, ham, and sausage 
  • Red meat like pork, lamb, or beef 
  • White bread, white rice, white pasta 
  • Sweets
  • Fast food 

It’s not necessarily bad to eat these once in a while but they are a main part of your diet, they could very well be causing inflammation in pain in your back. 

Holistic Diets

The chiropractic practice is generally one that looks at the whole person and comes to conclusions about how best to treat an individual based on their entire lifestyle and personal challenges. At Greenville Spine, we look at each of our patients individually, what they like to do, how they exercise and enjoy leisure, what their work backgrounds are like, what their normal diet consists of, and what their particular challenges and obstacles are. 

Through evaluating patients individually and as a whole person, we are able to manage their treatment to accomplish their goals as individuals. All of our treatments are holistic: we don’t use any drugs and if we do recommend supplements, they are natural. 

The same holistic concept can be applied to diets as well. A well-rounded diet that focuses more on foods that reduce inflammation can positively affect all aspects of a patient: their sleep, their pain, their alertness, their endurance. Everything in the body works best when obstacles – like subluxations – are removed and the body can effectively work as it’s supposed to. 

Changing Habits

Changing any kind of bad habit can be very difficult but in the end, if you’re able to run around with your kids or grandkids, get back to your job, sleep better at night, and wean off expensive medications through utilizing both a healthy eating plan and regular chiropractic care, that is life-changing. 

Living a Pain-Free Life 

If you need help getting started on living a pain-free life and learning more about how your diet affects back pain, we are more than happy to help! The benefits of working with us at Greenville Spine are extensive due to the holistic and individualized treatment options. 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.