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.

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.

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/
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.