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 Transformation Stories: Curtis Parker

Patient Transformation Stories: Curtis Parker

Curtis Parker, a husband, father, and commercial insurance salesman, was often in pain and uncomfortable. He was in the car hours upon hours every week for his job and could never get comfortable. Pain was constantly on his mind.

Here is his story of how he decided to give Dr. Kevin Lewis a shot at using tried and true methods to give Curtis back his life from pain.

Constant Pain

Curtis was always athletic growing up, playing baseball and football throughout high school and college. He would see a chiropractor if his back or neck was giving him pain but never much more than once or twice and never with any consistency.

In fact, when he would see the chiropractors, he often ended up feeling worse than he did before he went in. Needless to say, he wasn’t fond of using chiropractic services but after seeing Dr. Lewis, he realized he had no idea about how it was supposed to work.

“I just didn’t know how it should be done,” said Curtis. “Ultimately, you don’t know what you don’t know.”

From then on, he stayed away from chiropractors for seven or so years until he felt he was at a breaking point. He had moved to Greenville in 2017 and was suffering from a herniated disc, back pain, and other discomforts. He was traveling in the car for several days a week for five to six hours a day.

“My body was so stiff and I was always uncomfortable,” he said. “I tried stretching and some other things but nothing worked.”

Finding Dr. Kevin Lewis

While Curtis doesn’t exactly remember how he found Dr. Lewis, he does remember he did a lot of research to find the best chiropractor in Greenville. Dr. Lewis’ name kept coming up so he made an appointment.

Curtis went into the appointment with an open mind. He wasn’t set on treatment at all. He just wanted to get an opinion and see what the options were.

“I met with Dr. Lewis and we went through a lot of issues. Instead of trying to earn a couple hundred bucks for an appointment, he wanted to talk about all the details of my life and all the issues I was having. He then laid out a detailed plan of attack to fix those issues.”

Curtis started treatment by seeing Dr. Lewis twice a week and doing a set of exercises at home plus icing at the office. It was a comprehensive and individualized treatment program, formulated for Curtis’ exact issues.

“With my schedule, his office was able to accommodate me due to his longer hours and has since been able to see me when I’ve injured myself doing my normal, fun activities like water skiing or hiking,” said Curtis. “I’m his perfect patient.”

Getting Results

Curtis saw Dr. Lewis twice a week for six weeks and then cut back slowly as he started to feel better for longer periods of time. Now, years later, he goes twice a month and more if he starts to have any discomfort.

“Now, I rarely have major issues so it’s more of a maintenance plan,” said Curtis. “I don’t want to go back to where I was when I started seeing Dr. Lewis. Continuing in his care has really become second nature.”

Curtis works out five days a week and is very active, mostly due to his 20-month-old son who keeps him moving. And there is hardly ever discomfort anymore. It’s become a huge weight off his shoulders not to always be thinking about the pain or if he will hurt himself further by moving a certain way or playing with his son.

Advice to Others in pain

The biggest piece of advice Curtis can give to those considering chiropractic treatment with Dr. Lewis is this: “consistency is the key.”

This is a thread woven through Curtis’ entire story from his days as an athlete in high school and college to his time spent recovering and correcting his alignment as an adult.

“You learn fast that consistency is the key,” he said. “If you only see a chiropractor once or twice, you’ll realize it’s not working or you will feel worse. Consistency is the biggest key until you can get the structure right in your body over time. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

As for where Curtis would be today if he hadn’t taken that step to meet with Dr. Lewis and decide to jump into the treatment plan?

“I would have spent a lot of money on short term solutions and have been in more pain,” he said. “ If you’re uncomfortable, you’re the only person who can make up your mind to do the things to fix it.”

Curtis and his wife are expecting their second child and thanks to Curtis’ work with Dr. Lewis, he’ll be ready to play tackle for a long time to come.

Ready for your transformation story?

If you’re ready to take that next step in fixing old injuries, 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.

Patient Transformation: How Morgan Got Her Life Back

Patient Transformation: How Morgan Got Her Life Back

Morgan lived with round the clock debilitating pain and nothing was helping. She was taking Ibuprofen every six hours every day, couldn’t sleep or sit for long periods of time, and was seeing a chiropractor who just cracked her back and sent her on her way.

This is her story of how she found Dr. Kevin Lewis and how he was able to figure out the root cause of her pain and treat it successfully.

Finding Dr. Lewis 

When Morgan and her husband moved to Greenville, she wanted to see a chiropractor who could hopefully put her on the right track towards a pain free life and get her out of her constant reliance on over-the-counter pain medication.

Like any modern day American, her husband Googled “chiropractor” and Dr. Lewis’ office popped up – with all five star reviews no less. She figured to give it a shot.

Figuring out the root cause and treatment options 

Morgan sat down with Dr. Lewis at that first consultation and noticed right off the bat he was different.

“When he listens to you, you feel seen and heard on a personal level. No other chiropractor has sat me down and truly listened,” she said.

She had a lot to talk to him about. Her symptoms included pain in her entire upper back, shoulders, neck, skull, arms, hips, eyes, and hands. This kind of pain was stabbing, shrieking, and deep seated. She had double sided TMJ, vertigo, her fingers were going numb and she couldn’t sleep or sit for long periods of time.

That initial consultation included speaking to Dr. Lewis and telling him her story. His assistant, Miranda, took x-rays and photos of her whole body, which calculated many different angles of her hips, shoulders, neck, back, etc. She simultaneously stood on two different scales to determine if she was holding more weight on one side of her body than the other, creating an imbalance.

“This thorough analysis impressed me!” said Morgan. “I have never had any chiropractor do any more than a massage and some quick adjustments. Dr. Lewis personally sat down and in great detail explained the results of my tests and x-rays, which concluded in a treatment plan.”

Treating Hump Neck 

Hump Neck, also referred to as Dowager’s Hump, is a curvature of the spine at the base of the neck that can cause all sorts of problems: migraines, headaches, back pain, and extreme fatigue. It’s often due to constantly looking down at your laptop or phone, a common behavior in our modern day and age.

Morgan suffered from a version of hump neck, as her neck had no natural curve in the spine. For her, it started in college due to looking down at her books and computer to study. It only worsened during her fast food job where she looked down at ordering screens all day, and peaked at her desk job where poor posture was unavoidable, even at a standing desk.

Dr. Lewis immediately began adjustments to focus on Morgan’s neck to create and maintain correct alignment. He also instructed her to use a Denneroll, which is a hard “pillow” used by chiropractors to force the curve back into the neck. Morgan followed Dr. Lewis’ instructions and laid on it for 15 minutes every day. Both her work and Dr. Lewis’ paid off as she has seen great results and relief through this treatment.

Working Through Treatment

Committing to a lengthy treatment plan can be a shock for some but for others who have been in pain for so long, they are ready to try something promising. But healing does take time.

“Dr. Lewis told me from the beginning how long it will take until I start seeing improvements,” Morgan said. “You are not popping pain pills and feeling completely better tomorrow. You might feel relief tomorrow, but remember this: your bones are used to falling out of their correct spot. They will default to this. Give your body time to learn how to hold your adjustment.”

And Dr. Lewis’ method is completely different from other chiropractors who just see patients for adjustments and then send them on their way. Morgan had already tried that and she knew it didn’t work. She wasn’t seeing any relief.

“Dr. Lewis’ office is not a ‘one and done’ place,” she said. “They have a whole therapy bay where you are taught and encouraged to stretch and use their equipment before your adjustment. After the adjustment, you are able to lay on a massage bed for a few minutes which I would highly recommend never skipping!”

Morgan’s Life Today

Morgan has been a patient of Dr. Lewis’ practice since 2019. Her entire life has turned around because of her decision to walk in his door and trust him with her care.

She went from being in extreme pain 24/7 to only occasionally experiencing pain. She was only 25 years old when she started treatment and by then, she had already been living with debilitating pain for four years.

What would have happened if she didn’t start treatment with Dr. Lewis?

“I would have had surgery, migraines and be unable to function or hold down a job,” said Morgan. “That is no life for anyone. Don’t settle. Praise the Lord for Dr. Lewis, for He used him to give me my life back.”

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.

What are the Common Causes for Shoulder Pain?

What are the Common Causes for Shoulder Pain?

Basics of Shoulder Anatomy

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the human body consisting of four different joints that are surrounded by complex muscles, bursas, joint capsules, and nerve endings. Due to its complex nature, there are many reasons why one may feel many forms of shoulder pain such as discomfort, numbness, weakness, or decreased range of motion in their shoulder.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain could be a result of certain conditions such as dyskinesia of the shoulder, osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tear or tendonitis, subacromial bursitis, frozen shoulder, bicipital tendonitis, rheumatoid Arthritis, shoulder impingement, shoulder dislocation, labral tears, and many more. Depending on your age, sex, occupation, social, or family history, you may be more at risk for suffering from one of the aforementioned shoulder conditions. In fact, approximately 18 million Americans suffer from shoulder pain each year. If you or someone you know is suffering from shoulder pain, the best course of action to find a resolution to one’s problem would be to get it thoroughly assessed by a professional.

Getting Diagnosed

What many people don’t know is that one of those professionals they can seek care from is a Chiropractor. A Chiropractor is highly skilled in the anatomy and physiology of the soft tissue surrounding the joint such as muscles, joints, ligaments, and also the nerves which control the shoulder. But what would a Chiropractor be looking for when assessing a shoulder?

Shoulder Pain Being Diagnosed by Doctor

Collecting Patient History

Due to the complexity of the shoulder girdle and the multitude of conditions that can occur in the shoulder, a thorough assessment is crucial in diagnosing what is causing one’s shoulder pain. However, first, a history must be taken to determine what has caused the shoulder pain whether it was caused by a previous trauma, overuse, or an insidious onset. If a trauma has occurred, such as a fall on an outstretched hand, or blow to the back of the shoulder, a rotator cuff tear, ligamentous instability, or fracture may be suspected. In order to diagnose a rotator cuff tear or instability, a physical examination and orthopedic testing would be done to the shoulder to determine if an MRI is necessary to further diagnose the severity of the condition.

Your Greenville Chiropractor would also refer a patient to a trusted orthopedic specialist and physical therapy for rehabilitation of the shoulder. The medical team would work in partnership for the patient’s best outcome. If a fracture is suspected, additional orthopedic tests can be performed along with an X-ray to finalize whether a fracture is present. Similar to a rotator cuff tear, the patient would be referred to an orthopedic specialist to further assess the patient’s complaint.

XRAY of Shoulder to Help Diagnose Shoulder Pain

Identifying the Source of Joint Pain

Once a tear, instability, or fracture is ruled out, further orthopedic testing can be done to determine whether the pain is coming from an osseous misalignment or soft tissue. Soft tissue problems that can commonly occur are conditions such as adhesive capsulitis (aka frozen shoulder) which presents as pain and severely decreased range of motion, bicipital tendonitis which would cause pain in the anterior portion of the shoulder, subacromial bursitis which would cause pin-point pain at the superior aspect of the shoulder, or impingement whose pain varies in location depending on the type of impingement occurring. For each soft tissue condition, conservative care is recommended for the treatment which can be done in the office and at home after a proper examination is performed and a specific care plan is made for you.

Correcting Misalignment is Critical to Avoiding Soft Tissue Damage

If it is found during the physical and orthopedic examination that a person’s shoulder pain is a result of an osseous misalignment of the shoulder girdle that could be treated by chiropractic care, then a specific care plan would be created for the patient to return the bones to their normal alignment and stabilize the area of concern. There are multiple ways that the shoulder could misalign because there are four different joints that make up the shoulder girdle, with the scapula, humerus, and clavicle making up those joints. Misalignment of the shoulder can occur from falls, poor posture, overuse, etc. It is important to have normal alignment of the shoulder because the shoulder is solely held together by soft tissue such as muscle and ligaments, therefore, when the shoulder misaligns, the muscles and ligaments will become distorted which will lead to them being more prone to injury and tearing. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that the shoulder girdle is aligned to prevent future avoidable injury.

Where Pain is Felt vs Where it Originates May Be Different

In addition to having the shoulder girdle thoroughly assessed, it is important to also assess the cervical spine for injury or degeneration due to the fact that the nerves that exit from the cervical spine directly innervate the shoulder. If a nerve is compressed upon, a person can experience pain that radiates from the neck into the shoulder and down the arm. If the nerve pressure is not addressed, the nerve will, unfortunately, begin to degenerate which will lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of sensation in the area. It is crucial to have your spine checked for nerve pressure as soon as symptoms arise to prevent the nerve from degenerating.

The most efficient way to get rid of your shoulder pain is to get a thorough examination done to locate the root cause of your problem. A Chiropractor is highly trained in assessing both the shoulder girdle and cervical spine to help find the root cause of your problem so that you can return to living your life free of pain and restriction. In our office, an in-depth case history will be taken to assess when the issue began, any injuries or overuse that may have damaged the area, and how it is affecting your life. A 36-point examination will then be performed which includes physical, neurological, and orthopedic tests to determine what may be causing your problem. Lastly, if deemed necessary, an X-ray will be taken to further assess the area. If it is found that you may need further care that we cannot render in our office, we ensure that we will send you to the facility that can care for you.

Our goal is to help you feel liberated from pain and restriction so that you can live your life in the best way possible. Don’t let shoulder pain steal another second of joy from your life! Schedule a FREE consultation online or by phone at 1 (864) 631-1420.

McGrew, Chris, and Andrew Ashbaugh. Checklist for Physical Examination of the Shoulder.

McHugh, Brian MD. “Common Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease.” Spine, 2017

Miniato, Mohammed A. “Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Shoulder.” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 31 July 2020

Shoulder Anatomy.” Kent Orthopaedic Practice

Souza, Thomas A. Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2018.