It’s common to see golf carts scooting around neighborhoods but are children safe while riding them? Pediatric surgeon Stanton Adkins, MD, explains why parents should be concernedabout golf cart safety.
Thank you to Prisma Health for sponsoring this article!
Why Should You Be Concerned?
While most parents buckle up their children and use child safety seats in their cars, they don’t use that same care with recreational vehicles. Golf carts are not toys, however, and drivers should be educated about the risks they pose.
“Golf carts are not protective. We are concerned by the increasing number of golf carts we are seeing on public roads, often with unrestrained children riding in them,” said Dr. Adkins.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 1,000 people are injured every month and the majority of those hurt are children and teens.
“Most golf carts don’t have seat belts and people don’t wear helmets when riding in them,” said Dr. Adkins. “These vehicles generally are not licensed for the road. It is frightening to see people driving down busy major roads with very little protection, especially for child passengers.”
Most injuries occur when the cart tips over or riders are thrown from the carts during sharp turns. About half of golf cart injuries are related to falling or jumping from a golf cart.
What You Should Know About Golf Cart Safety
“Most of our streets and roads do not have golf cart paths. We want to remind parents that children can be seriously injured in and around golf carts, so families should use extra caution with these and other recreational vehicles,” said Dr. Adkins.
A fall is twice as likely to cause a head or neck injury.
Rear-facing golf cart seats pose a high risk for falls.
Golf carts traveling even at slow speeds can eject a passenger during a turn.
Most golf carts don’t have brakes on all four wheels.
Most golf carts don’t have seat belts or stability mechanisms.
Golf carts offer little protection in a collision.
Golf carts often don’t have lights or reflectors.
Golf carts should not be operated at night.
Need a Primary Care Doctor?
The best time to schedule a new patient visit is while your child is well. Find a provider who’s right for your family by viewing online profiles, star ratings and reviews.
Stanton Adkins, MD, is a pediatric general surgeon with Prisma Health. He is board certified in general and pediatric surgery.
Golf Cart Safety Tips from Kidding Around
Golf cart safety is the responsibility of the driver. The driver controls whose in the cart, the maximum speed, and where you go.
Disclaimer: Kidding Around doesn’t have any expert golf cart knowledge. But having been in a golf cart that nearly tipped because a grown-up thought it would be cool to let a kid drive, I’d like to just take a minute to summarize a few dos and don’ts for golf cart drivers to consider.
Make sure passengers are safely seated before driving the cart, and don’t exceed the number of passengers the cart is designed for.
Avoid sharp turns, sudden starts, stops and fast turns, and don’t drive straight up and down slopes.
Avoid excessive speed and always yield to pedestrians.
This one sounds maybe a little silly, but make sure you know how to operate the golf cart before moving the golf cart. This includes knowing how to use hand signals for turning signals.
Golf carts were made for the golf course, not for regular family transportation. Don’t operate them in bad weather.
Just like the rides at the theme park, body parts stay in the cart. Don’t let anyone hang off.
Use the parking brake when stopped. You pull up to chat with the neighbor for a minute as you’re driving by, it’s time to use that parking brake.
Avoid distractions! Phones, we’re looking at you.
Consider wearing seat belts, and installing them if you don’t have them.
Consider bike helmets for kids.
Kids really shouldn’t be driving golf carts. They aren’t licensed drivers and they don’t have the experience needed to make quick decisions and corrections if something unexpected should happen.
Whether it’s on the playground or at home, bumps, bruises, bug bites, and other child injuries can happen. Today we’re talking about the most common childhood injuries for kids of all ages, including toddlers, younger kids, older children, and teens. Josh Wyatt, MD, offers advice on child safety and injury prevention, first aid tips, and when to call your doctor or visit an urgent care or emergency department for the 10 most common injuries in children.
Thank you to Prisma Health for sponsoring this article!
Many parents turn to summer camps to keep their kids busy and engaged from June to August. For parents of younger children or those who haven’t sent a child to camp before, the idea of summer camp can be a little nerve-wracking. How can parents ensure summer camp safety for young children having their first summer camp experience?
Prisma Health’s Rahul Kataria, MD, is here to explain what parents need to know about summer camp safety and how to ensure they carry those amazing summer camp memories for a lifetime. Thank you to Prisma Health for sponsoring this article!
In this article, Prisma Health’s Leslie Gilbert, MD, offers advice on childhood bumps and bruises. We all know it is a normal part of being a kid but do you know when to be concerned about a bruise?Keep reading to learn more. Thank you to Prisma Health for sponsoring this article!
“It is normal for children to have flat bruises over their shins and other bony areas, such as their elbows and forearms,” said Dr. Gilbert. “This is just part of healthy play and will resolve normally. Bruises should be a concern when they occur in areas such as the back, stomach or bottom, when they occur without any known trauma or when they are not flat.”
If your child is experiencing these types of bruises, they could be a sign of a bleeding disorder. Bleeding disorders are a group of diseases that lead to an increased risk of bleeding and bruising. A bleeding disorder affects the way your blood would normally clot.
Looking for a great pediatric dentist? Like most parents, I am particular about which doctors I choose for my children. I look for ones that listen, don’t rush through exams, have good communication skills, are sympathetic and understanding, and of course, ones that do an excellent job taking care of my kids. I’ve been looking for a new pediatric dentist and decided to try Cherry Orchard Pediatric Dentistry, headed up by Dr. Lisa Cherry, DDS, who has been practicing for 20 years.
She and her whole staff have been amazing from setting up the appointment, reminders, payment plans, and then all the work done at the actual appointments. I went there with high expectations and have been so pleased with our experience and am happy to tell you all about it.
Are you looking for places that offer mental health care for moms? Feeling a little overwhelmed and searching for someone to help you take care of your mental health? With some research and suggestions from local moms, Kidding Around Contributors have compiled this list of mental health resources for moms in Greenville, SC, and online. Take care of yourselves, mom, so you have something left to take care of everyone else!
“Hi, this is Kristina,” I answered my phone at 6:35pm on a Monday evening. My kids were thankfully occupied with their dolls while I was trying to finish up some loose ends for work at my laptop.
“Hi, it’s Dr. Lewis. I’m just calling to see how you’re feeling after your first adjustment and to welcome you to the practice,” said Dr. Kevin Lewis. He is the founder and lead Chiropractor at Greenville Spine Institute, a practice that I’ve come to learn leaves no detail unthought of.
But, why was I getting a call in the first place? I’m stressed. My neck feels like a rubber band that’s about to snap. My back is adjusting to my age – or vice versa. I’m super active and have some lingering injuries that I’d really like to get fixed so I can keep up with my kids, sleep better, and move through this crazy life with less pain than I’m currently dealing with.
When I had the opportunity to visit Dr. Lewis and see what he offered in the way of trying to put my humpty dumpty body back together, I made the appointment. Now, you can follow me across my first 4 months of care learning what it means to find a Gonstead practitioner.
This story for me and for you, our readers, will be an on-going one. Dr. Lewis isn’t a regular chiropractor you may see in a strip mall. His experience and method go way beyond an adjustment every week. His method, I’m learning, follows his keen attention to detail and ability to not only use the medical tools at his disposal to help heal his patients, but truly listen to their concerns, to their stories. I’m just starting this journey and this is the first installment of the work I’ll be doing with Dr. Lewis – or rather the work he and his staff will be doing on me.
As a mom, I don’t do many things that are just for myself. I have a lot of other cares and concerns that I have to focus on and that I want to focus on, namely my children, my husband, my family, my work, my relationships. I make significant efforts to keep myself healthy and be active not only because I enjoy it but because I want to be there to see my kids grow up and go on all kinds of adventures with them. And, I need my body to do that. I need my body to work like it’s supposed to. All that sleep I’m losing, the anxiety, that stress-related pain needs to be dealt with.
If you can relate, which I have a funny feeling many of you can, I hope you’ll follow me on this journey. It’s going to take a few months and I’ll update you on how it’s going, what the treatments look like, and how I’m feeling. You’ll get a firsthand account of exactly how this works and learn how it may be beneficial, and even life-changing, for you.
The First Appointment
The initial appointment is a lot of talking and then x-rays and some other tests, all literally in the same room. I like that. No having to go places for different tests.
You should know that Dr. Lewis has a family with lots of kids. He and his wife understand the pressures that come along with parenting quite well. So when I tell him all kinds of crazy kid stories, it doesn’t phase him.
He asked me what hurts the most, where it hurts, how it hurts more or less if I move a certain way. What things in my life are causing me the most physical pain? What things would I do if I didn’t have this pain? He asks about my professional life and what kinds of things I have to do for my job – like sit forever at a computer. He asks a lot of questions and writes everything down.
The thing I noticed the most throughout our conversation is that he listens intently. The questions he asks are relevant to what you’re telling him. I’ve had a lot of doctors ask me some of these same questions and I can easily tell they aren’t listening. It drives me crazy. Dr. Lewis isn’t like that at all.
When it comes time for the exam, I have to dress in super comfortable and stylish scrubs, except they look like shorts from the 80s, which are awesome. Dr. Lewis’ assistant takes motion x-rays, which I had never heard about till now. X-rays are taken when I’m in all kinds of positions to see how my bones move. I got to see some of these in progress and it was really neat! I love that kind of thing.
Consultation – what’s wrong with me
The consultation is the next appointment, which happened for me the day after the first one. Dr. Lewis needs time to study the tests and x-rays. I was prepared for bad news. I knew things were wrong – I just didn’t know how wrong they may be.
Using pretty neat replicas of the spine, Dr. Lewis showed me what a healthy spine looks like and how it moves so that it doesn’t pinch the nerve. I was convinced this was not what my spine looked like. And for some parts, it didn’t.
He explained the various stages of bone degeneration that will really mess up how the bones move, and hence, how those nerves feel – which you’ll definitely notice in your body when the pain starts. There are different phases of these bone degenerations and for me, some of my vertebrae are at Phase II, which is one of the fixable stages. So, good news.
He pulled up my x-rays and showed me exactly which bones were moving correctly and which weren’t. Again, being kind of an anatomy nerd, I thought this was so interesting. Of course, I didn’t think it so great when I saw the damage that had already occurred but Dr. Lewis was nothing if not hopeful. He said he could fix it.
And what drugs would I need? None. Dr. Lewis’ practice relies on zero drugs and no surgery. It’s a completely holistic practice, essentially helping the body to get back to doing what it was designed to do.
For my part, I needed to be all in. I couldn’t just decide to go once a week or whenever I felt like it. Why? Because unless I do my part and make a solid commitment to come when he asked, he couldn’t make a solid commitment to me that his proven method would work as well as it could.
Maybe this would be a good time to tell you that, if he accepts you as a patient, he has a 98% success rate in fixing whatever issue it is that you come to him with.
The treatment he laid out for me is coming to him for a 20-minute appointment three times a week for a month, then twice a week for the following two months. After that, we’d have to see what a maintenance schedule looks like. For me, a working mom who homeschools her kids, that seemed almost impossible.
But we couldn’t move forward if I didn’t give him a firm commitment that I’d follow through with the treatment he laid out.
How much did I really want to take a solid shot at sleeping well or even knocking back some anxiety and living with less pain? It took me a night to think about it and try to make it work with my schedule.
Saying Yes to the Success
You may have guessed I said yes. They set me up immediately, like the same day, with my first appointment and then helped me schedule out the rest, which is nice for my own sanity.
A few months to help fix some serious issues in my life is nothing in the long run.
I’m not a fan of getting adjustments, even though I know they help and put things back where they need to be. If you’ve never gotten an adjustment, the chiropractor makes short movements on your neck, back, or spine that make a cracking sound in your joints. A few years ago, pop culture blog Buzzfeed put out this viral video called “people get their bones professionally cracked.” So many things were wrong with it, especially since chiropractors don’t crack your bones – that would seriously hurt! They did get the sound right though. I have a hard time just relaxing and letting the doctor do his job.
But I had no reason to be worried here. I got changed into my super comfy and stylish scrub shirt and let him do his job, which took mere minutes. He told me I did great, which obviously I was proud of because what’s better than trying to relax while getting your body fixed, right?
I have been to chiropractors before and have seen some strange equipment but I had never, ever seen the things inside this office. There was an odd kind of kneeling chair where you kneeled and stuck your face in what some would say is more for a massage chair. It’s part of the Gonstead chiropractic method and apparently puts your back and shoulders in a position that makes it better for the doctor to adjust you. That’s a super simple explanation and you can read more in this link but that’s what this particular piece of furniture was for.
Then I got to go to the, for lack of a better word, chiropractor gym that has all kinds of interesting equipment that I had never seen. I only had to lay down for eight minutes on a bed that had an icy cold compress on it and a system that rolled underneath so it was like a massage chair but lying down. Super strange but all I had to do was lay there so no effort on my part.
Dr. Lewis’ staff is just as attentive as he is, checking me in quickly and efficiently and getting me scheduled. They send text messages and emails to remind you of appointments and help you get whatever you need.
So that’s how I ended up getting a phone call on Monday night from Dr. Lewis welcoming me to his practice. It’s more than having a good bedside manner. I thought this simple gesture really spoke to his level of care for his patients and earnest desire to see significant positive changes in the lives of those he touches.
Stay tuned for part two in another month when I have my first follow-up consultation and see how things are progressing. If you have any questions for Dr. Lewis and his practice, his website is The Greenville Spine Institute . And if you want to ask me anything, email me at [email protected].
My 1 Month Follow Up Appointment at Greenville Spine Institute
A month. That’s how long I’ve been going to see Dr. Kevin Lewis at the Greenville Spine Institute for treatment. I go three times a week and it takes me about an hour between travel and actual time at the office. I bring my kids. They bring their schoolwork and their dolls. It’s a lot easier to work this into my life than I thought it would be.
And has it been worth it? Have I noticed improvement in neck and back pain, am I sleeping better, has anxiety lessened? Those are the million dollar questions, right? I have answers but let me first tell you what this month has looked like.
Typical office visits
Dr. Lewis is a graduate of The Citadel and a former sheriff’s deputy. Being on time and attentive to details is in his DNA. His entire staff operates under this culture as well, which makes visits run like clockwork. Like most moms, I have a lot of things to do each day and knowing how this part of my day would go and how much time I had to dedicate made it easier for planning purposes and knocking out my to-do list.
Once arriving at the office, I’d wait a few minutes for an adjustment room. After giving one of the staff a quick rundown of how I was feeling, I changed into a comfy velcro-closing shirt and waited a few more minutes for Dr. Lewis. He’d use his special tool (a nervoscope that detects as little as 0.02°F temperature differential) on my spine to see where swelling was happening (indicative of a subluxation) and then adjust my neck, lower back, and upper back. Easy and painless.
After that, I got to lay on the table with the ice massager for eight minutes. This feels great. It’s a giant roller machine under the table that puts rolling pressure on your back and neck. Optimally, patients would get up and walk around after being adjusted but Dr. Lewis knows that’s not usually possible as most people just get in their cars and drive to home or work. So this machine is equivalent to more than two hours of walking – unfortunately not in calories but in how the spine would move and adjust.
After the ice table, I was done. Easy.
How it all works
While I was riding the waves of the ice table, I took the opportunity to ask one of the other at the Greenville Spine Institute about some of the words I had heard thrown around during my visits – like subluxation.
I really should know what this is since I had heard it at least a dozen times. It sounded bad so I didn’t want to ask. However, I’m writing this story for our readers and can’t not know what I’m talking about, right?
A subluxation is when the bone is out of place in the vertebrae and starts to decay because it’s pressed where it’s not supposed to be. This leads to the nerve being pinched and the spine not working correctly. An interesting part of subluxation is that since the bones aren’t working like they should and pressing on the nerve, it hinders the easy flow of communication between the brain and everywhere else in the body.
Why does this matter? Because when you’re tense or anxious or have injuries that need certain instructions, if the brain can’t effectively communicate with the rest of the body, it won’t be able to act as it’s supposed to and provide the correct responses to those valid, and sometimes distressing, feelings.
The other doctor explained this part of the spinal damage since I asked her why Greenville Spine Institute talks about how the treatment they provide can ease anxiety and even allergies – a lack of proper communication to nerves throughout the back can easily affect those muscles around the ribs and lungs, making it harder to breathe. I have asthma, along with allergies and anxiety, so all of this interests me and something I’m more attune to during treatment to see if things improve.
Chiropractic care and skepticism
I went into this treatment plan with what I’d like to think is a basic knowledge of chiropractic care and treatment. Years ago when the option of seeing a chiropractor was given to me for running injuries, I was more than skeptical. It was basically a last option. I had heard all kinds of things said about the kind of care that chiropractors provide that wasn’t exactly flattering but I was willing to give it a shot because I had tried nearly everything else.
Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is to do your own research. Talk to people who have experience in whatever you are researching. Don’t just rely on the Internet. My husband was a professional soccer player in his home country of El Salvador and the team used chiropractors as part of their therapy for the players. He had some pretty wild stories of the miracles chiropractors worked through their methods.
I’ve had very good experiences with chiropractors and have come to understand how the body works – or should work – and why I’m feeling the way I am at times. To me, learning how the body is supposed to work and communicate together through its parts is fascinating. But then learning how chiropractors manipulate those body parts and put them where they are supposed to be is even more interesting, especially when it works well.
Dr. Lewis has a proprietary blend of Gonstead chiropractic care with a few other tried and true methods, one of only a handful of Gonstead practitioners in South Carolina and the only one using his proprietary combination of methods. The Gonstead method is a particular method of putting the body back into its natural alignment naturally and utilizes unique equipment and treatments to make it happen. You can read more about the Gonstead method here.
So if you’re skeptical or wary of chiropractors, you’re not alone. Take the time to do your research. Before your treatment with Dr. Lewis, you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions and get answers. I was impressed right off the bat with him because of the time he took to explain exactly what was happening with my own body and how things should look – he’s got lots of cool spinal models to help. His patience in answering my myriad of questions demonstrated how vested he is in caring for his patients who have entrusted to him and his staff their well-being.
Progress report number one
After a month of treatment, I had to fill out a questionnaire asking me how I was feeling and other questions related to my initial concerns of neck and shoulder pain. Then I did five minutes of testing with Miranda, one of the lovely staff members, to see if there were any improvements. This consisted of redoing some of the initial tests I did at my very first visit like moving around my neck and bending over and looking up and down and side to side while she took flattering photos of me.
I got an email that same day that revealed my head weighed several pounds less than it did a month ago! Interesting but odd, right? It was explained to me that my head didn’t exactly weigh less but rather the weight of it was lessened on the muscles holding it up because of adjustments. Ok, that made me feel better.
The initial round of tests showed that I was favoring the right side of my body by 13 pounds. The latest test showed a three pound improvement so now I was favoring the same side by 10 pounds.
Dr. Lewis told me he was hoping to see a 30% improvement in range of motion in my neck. The number after a month? A 42% improvement. I didn’t say it out loud but being the Type A personality I am, I inwardly said “overachiever” because really, I totally am. It actually wasn’t terribly surprising because I had noticed that rubber band feeling on my neck gradually subsiding. It is a lot easier to move my neck around, which is a great feeling.
I’m also sleeping noticeably better, like deeper sleep all night. I have a terrible habit of waking up at 2 or 3 am and then not being able to fall back asleep for hours. My kids aren’t at that age anymore (thankfully) of not sleeping through the night so that’s not the issue. I’m happy to say these instances of being up at that hour and staying up have lessened significantly over the past month. I still have some trouble falling asleep but the sleep I do get, even if it’s not as many hours as I’d like, is much more restful than before I started with Dr. Lewis.
I’m happy to say that I graduated to the second half of my treatment plan! I love graduating – it’s a good feeling to accomplish something.
This means a few things. Firstly, I get to use some of the odd equipment in the chiropractor gym at the office. I already used one thing where I stood up and put a rubber thing on the back of my neck and my forehead and then basically let gravity do the rest. I’ll post a photo to our Instagram account so you can all make fun of me. Secondly, my office visits are reduced to twice a week. And lastly, I now have at-home exercises I have to do in order to continue to make progress. That is set up through a third party website and Dr. Lewis tells me it will take about 20 minutes a day. I want to graduate to step three (and continue to feel better) so I’m going to commit to doing this.
Stay tuned for part two in another month when I have my second progress report and see how things are progressing. If you have any questions for Dr. Lewis and his practice, his website is The Greenville Spine Institute . And if you want to ask me anything, email me at [email protected].
Part 3: Significant Progress, 2 Month Update
My second progress report with Dr. Lewis at Greenville Spine Institute was quite the story. To recap, I’ve been seeing him to help correct some significant issues in my neck and down my spine that have caused enduring pain in my upper body and occasionally my knees and legs. Essentially, there was a lot to fix. I started treatment in mid-January and have progressed through three times a week treatment down to two times a week since it’s going well.
This progress report showed a 65% improvement on range of motion, which is huge. One of the biggest areas of improvement is the distribution of weight, which indicates my hips are getting to where they need to be. In January, I was favoring my right side by a whooping 13 pounds. That’s not good because it really throws off many different things in the way your body works like your hips, back, spine, knees, and even up through your shoulders. This progress report showed I was only favoring my right side by 2 pounds! What a difference.
Every progress report, Miranda, one of the awesome employees at the Greenville Spine Institute, takes flattering photos of me to measure posture and range of motion and also to perform the tests she initially did when I started treatment. She was ecstatic with my improvement so that made me happy – I get a gold star. Have I mentioned that everyone who works for Dr. Lewis is awesome? The women there are so caring, knowledgeable, and helpful and they know everyone by name. I think that says a lot for the kind of environment that Dr. Lewis has created for his practice and the way he and his entire staff take excellent care of their patients.
Your head weighs how much?
Back in January, my neck and shoulder were supporting the poorly distributed weight of my head, which in effect weighed a little over 39 pounds. My head thankfully doesn’t weigh that; it weighs around 12 pounds. Yet because of the way my body was all out of alignment, the weight was more than 39 pounds, which was causing all kinds of pain in my neck and shoulders. The body is incredible and will compensate for lots of different things that can and does go wrong – but that means that other parts of the body will have to make up the slack, which often causes pain.
So this progress report showed a massive improvement. My head now effectively weighs a bit more than 18 pounds – a 21 pound difference! That’s a lot of weight my neck and shoulders aren’t bearing and I can feel it. I am in nearly no more pain throughout my neck and upper back and shoulders except for an unfortunate injury due to my active lifestyle that Dr. Lewis is working his magic to fix. It’s night and day honestly and the positive differences since starting treatment are easy to notice and appreciate.
Listening is an art
Listening, especially for a doctor, is so important to how they take care of their patients. I think about my kids, who are 10 and 6, and come to me for literally the smallest of cuts and scratches. They want to be heard, even for the little things. I’m the same way. I want to be heard and feel like my concerns are being taken to heart, most especially when dealing with my health. Dr. Lewis and his staff get that. I have never once felt like my concerns, however small they may have been, were pushed aside. The entire staff wants to help fix whatever issues their patients have and it is so appreciated.
During the course of one of the adjustments, Dr. Lewis casually mentioned to me that he had memorized my x-rays. Like, what? Is that normal? At this practice, yes.
When a doctor listens to their patient intently, they are trying to find the best solution and the easiest path for them to heal. I had no reservations that is what Dr. Lewis was doing when I first met him. He took in the problems I was facing, ran all the tests, and then figured out a solution. That’s how I operate and if all I had to do was show up for appointments and do my at-home exercises, I could do this. Dr. Lewis had a plan and all I had to do was follow it. While I love spontaneity and adventure, those aren’t ideal aspects of successful treatment.
After the first progress report, I was given a lot of at-home exercises to do on my own. I hate doing this stuff. I had to do some physical therapy years ago after surgery and I hated every minute. But I was willing to do all of it because I want to feel better, to be in less constant pain, and to do all the fun things with my kids I plan to do.
After this progress report, I got a new set of exercises. I have to admit I am excited about these since the other ones I pretty much became a pro at. I need a new challenge. While the first set of exercises were more about stretching out the neck and shoulders and loosening those areas, this next set is definitely more involved with the whole body. It seems to me that these are moving more towards getting all the body parts to work well together now that they are getting in the right positions. I’m also a total anatomy geek so I love learning how the body works – really cool.
I still have to go to the chiropractor gym every visit and do awkward exercises but since they are helping, I can power through. I also still get to use the awesome ice massage table. The staff at Greenville Spine Institute tell me it’s a favorite of all their patients, which I can absolutely agree with. It’s relaxing and feels really good.
As has been the case during my entire time with Dr. Lewis, appointments run almost like clockwork. His staff is not only kind and caring but amazingly efficient. I’m usually in and out of there in 30 minutes or less, which is so great because I have a ton of stuff I need to do everyday, like all of us moms.
I’m very happy with my progress so far and am really looking forward to seeing the x-rays at the end of treatment to see how things look on the inside (again, science nerd here). I know things are working as Dr. Lewis has planned them to. I am sleeping well, better than I have in years, and there’s no pain when I workout or just sitting at my laptop working.
If you’re reading this and considering making a big change in your life to address on-going issues in your body that you’ve shoved aside for whatever reason, just give a shot, do an assessment and see the options available. It’s a commitment to take care of yourself but it’s worth the time and effort to be able to keep up with your kids and not miss out on experiences because of pain.
Stay tuned for part three in another month when I have my third progress report and see how things are progressing. If you have any questions for Dr. Lewis and his practice, his website is The Greenville Spine Institute. And if you want to ask me anything, email me at [email protected].
My 4-month treatment Update
Four months and 36 visits. That’s how long it took me to substantially fix issues in my neck, shoulders, and spine that have plagued my body for years. I didn’t exactly do this myself, but I did make a not insignificant commitment to do so with Dr. Kevin P. Lewis at Greenville Spine Institute. Looking back on that day in January sitting in his office gazing at x-rays of my neck and realizing the extent of the damage to my spine, it’s hard to believe I got to sit in the same room and listen to an entirely different diagnosis in May.
As I wrote in my initial story about those beginning days of treatment, I knew things were wrong – I just didn’t know how bad it was. Like many mothers, I was suffering from pain in my neck and shoulders, sleepless nights, and anxiety. But hearing the reasons why I had those issues from Dr. Lewis was eye-opening – to say the least. It was also overwhelming. I was skeptical he could help. But oh my gosh, what a joy now to say that I said yes to the help he was offering.
Pretty amazing results
So what were these incredible results? Well, when I first saw him, I had 14 subluxations – when the bone is out of place and presses on the nerve, which causes all kinds of pain but also stops the brain from communicating to parts of the body that it needs to talk to. During this consultation four months later, I only have five subluxations. Five!
My hips were also really out of balance and I was putting my weight on my right side to the tune of 13 pounds. That essentially means my body is out of whack, putting needless pressure on my hips, knees, ankles, and feet as it tries to make up for the imbalance. You know what the imbalance was at my four-month progress report? 1.5 pounds. I knew it, too, because I could feel it. I could physically feel that I was no longer favoring one side of my body and I have little to no pain anymore in my knees and ankles.
The other things I’ve talked about while chronicling my journey has been the more restful sleep I get each night. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night or have a hard time falling asleep but the sleep I do manage to get is so, so much better than before I started with Dr. Lewis. That is a huge win for me.
Unexpected side effects of treatment
One thing I’ve noticed more and more as the months ticked by with Greenville Spine Institute was an awareness of the movements of my body, which sounds totally strange (to me at least). I just feel more aware of what my body is doing and I’m maybe more careful to take care of my body just a bit better. For example, I was zip lining at Urban Air a couple months ago and was definitely considering how flying through the air could impact my body in ways I wasn’t expecting. I took precautions to move in a way that I knew wouldn’t be hurtful, if that makes any sense.
Maybe a better way to explain it is that I have an unexpected appreciation for how my body works, the ways that my brain communicates with the parts it needs to talk to and why I need to take those steps to make sure all the pathways stay open so things work correctly.
I was talking to another patient one day at Greenville Spine Institute while we were waiting to be adjusted and she was telling me she feels the same way, which helped me to have validation over these new feelings!
I also have pretty wild mood swings, partly because of genetics and partly due to hormones. I’ve noticed that while these awful swings haven’t all together dissipated, they have become more stable. At the suggestion of Dr. Lewis, I’ve been taking magnesium supplements to help with persistent headaches. Not only have the headaches disappeared but the magnesium has helped immensely in stabilizing moods. I have a long way to go but this was an unexpected surprise, which tracks with Dr. Lewis’ philosophy of using natural supplements to help heal the body.
I’m thrilled to say that as much as I have loved going to Greenville Spine Institute every week for the past four months, I’ve graduated to twice a month adjustments and use of the awesome ice roller table. Dr. Lewis said he expected a certain level of progress to be made and I exceeded those expectations by a long shot so my treatment plan is seeing him twice a month for the next twelve months.
It was not a consideration for me not to continue treatment really. The progress made has been phenomenal and I’d hate to slowly regress after all the time I’ve already spent with the practice trying to fix it. If I wasn’t seeing progress and not feeling better, it would be a whole other story. But that’s not the case at all.
Throughout these months, I’ve come to sincerely appreciate the consistency of treatment and the total attention given to me during treatment from truly listening to concerns and addressing new pains and issues along the way. Visits are efficient and the staff are all respectful of the time and effort patients make to commit to the treatment and don’t take any of that for granted. When you find a practice like this, you hang onto them!
18 Month Update
I didn’t think I’d be writing a year-and-a-half update on my journey with the Greenville Spine Institute but I wanted to tell you that I didn’t end at four months or eight months or a year. Why? Because I’ve come to understand how important it is to take care of your body – and find a really, really good chiropractor that you trust to help you do it.
When I started treatment at Greenville Spine in January 2021, I had to be all in. That was one of my hesitations about starting treatment actually. Did I want to commit to this? Did I want to put in the effort, the time, the energy, the extra juggling of work and homeschooling it would take to put my long-term health higher on the priority list?
Obviously, I said yes and what a journey it has been. If you managed to read through this whole story, you’ll know I was suffering from constant neck and shoulder pain, anxiety, and having trouble sleeping. While I started seeing improvement in all of those areas almost immediately after seeing Dr. Kevin Lewis, there were so many other benefits to chiropractic care at his office as well.
Let me first say that the improvements in sleep, anxiety, and neck and shoulder pain are long-lasting. They have never returned to the levels they were, not even close, when I first started chiropractic care with Dr. Lewis. Secondly, I’ve seen so much improvement in my balance as my hips and knees finally got to their proper alignment. Practically, this helps in my daily life. When I was out hiking with my girls and putting on my shoes after taking a dip in a waterfall pool, I was balancing on one leg and another hiker came over and said she was shocked at how well I balanced. Ok, I felt pretty good, given that I’m no longer in my 20s, and well, all my assessments show a nearly balanced weight now on both feet, which is incredible given that initially, there was 13-pound difference when I first started with Dr. Lewis!
Also, I’m really active and love doing all things outdoors, which means I put my body through lots of stress – this means I had to call Dr. Lewis on more than one occasion to adjust something that I had thrown out, like a rib, and that he expertly fixed with zero drugs. This happened with one of my daughters as well, who has been in his care for more than a year, when her neck was bothering her. We came in for an adjustment and she felt better by that same evening. I’ve been continually amazed at how adept Dr. Lewis has always been in figuring out exactly where the pain was coming from and making the proper adjustments to get everything aligned where it should be so we can go back to our active and fun lives.
He has also helped me to have much, much better sleep than I’ve ever had through not only adjustments but simple suggestions on vitamins that can naturally aid to have deeper, better sleep. This has been such a lifesaver.
Throughout treatment, Dr. Lewis and his staff take x-rays and photos to make sure the treatments are working and the goals set are being reached. I recently had my third set of x-rays to measure progress in my spine and he showed me that I’ve regained almost 14% of disk space back in my neck.
“So what does that mean?” I asked.
Dr. Lewis said it’s pretty incredible given that most people will never regain that disk space back between their vertebrae, making movement easier and more fluid and painless. I was sufficiently impressed.
But honestly, I don’t even need to see the x-rays to know that the treatment I’ve been given under Dr. Lewis’ care is working. I can feel it in my body when I stand up. I can feel it when I do the stretches every night that he’s assigned me to do and I feel stronger and more stable. I can feel it when I’m not feeling that pain I had for so long. And that’s why I’ve continued care. That’s why I’ve continued to rearrange my schedule when needed to get to his office and take care of myself so I can go on all the hikes, all the camping excursions, all the field trips, and have all the sleep I need to be the best mom, wife, sister, and friend I need to be. It’s all connected, just like our amazing bodies. If you want to ask me anything, email me at [email protected].
If you’re considering chiropractic treatment for any of the issues I’ve dealt with or any other pain issues, take the time to just do a consultation with Dr. Lewis. Just meet him. You’ll see how he listens to you, how attentive his staff is, and how honest, straightforward, and passionate he is about helping his patients.
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