A New Year | A New Start

New Year’s resolutions can be an important first step, but they are a far cry from real, lasting change. A baby may take his first steps as he reaches for a red ball just out of reach, but it isn't the ball that keeps him walking the rest of his life! His new discovery of mobility drives him to become steady on his feet and walk, then run and tackle the world with his new found ability!

New Year’s resolutions can be like this, we see a goal, but let us remember why we are setting these goals. Because life will be better if we get active, gain mobility, shed the pounds, and reach for a new life of achieving physical goals. The ringing in of a new year brings with it the possibility of a fresh start, or at least a fresh reminder to turn the page on a new chapter of growth, a chance to mature in the next season of life. But haven’t we all tried this enough times by now to know how futile mere resolutions are if not accompanied by more than an ideal?

Let's redefine that term that is trending on these first days of January, resolution. We must be more serious about our goals and dreams than just a "resolution."  You see, a resolution requires no preparation.  You can simply think of how you’d like life to be and say it out loud, but until you make yourself accountable, it will remain a nice idea and something that will happen someday "in the future." But a goal, requires specific action steps just as it does in a game of soccer or business plan.  It requires you to work backwards from the big, broad life you’d like to have to the first action step you must take today.

Whether it’s eating and exercise, or taking a dance class, running your first marathon, or shedding the weight you’ve procrastinated about for so long, the mechanism we call “habit” is vital for seeing our earnest resolutions through to enjoyable realities. If we really are resolved to see our hopes for 2017 become life-enriching habits, we will do well to keep several basic truths in mind at the outset of a new year.

Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your methods. Approach your new goals with the same seriousness you would a project for work, saying "I'm too tired" or "I'll start tomorrow" would not be acceptable in the workplace so do not make room for it in your personal life! Focus on a few goals and make them specific and obtainable! Craft a realistic plan and write. it. down. This cannot be stressed enough, even if you are not a “write it down” kind of person, written goals are 42% more likely to succeed than that never hit paper. Next identify the reward for achieving your goal, ask yourself “Why do I want to achieve this goal?” and trace the answer to the root of your motivation!

A written, realistic, obtainable goal with sufficient reward is still not going to as be achievable without accountability. Enlist a friend who will take this journey with you or seek a professional trainer. Accountability has been known to improve your outcome by 78%, so seek out another person, be it a friend or professional, to keep you accountable and push you when your initiative fails and motivation wains!

Taking those first steps can be challenging and we are here for you every step along the way! Our goal is not temporary relief of pain and restriction, but rather to assist you in lifelong change and achieve the active life you have always dreamed of living. Without addressing the underlying issues of alignment, soft tissue restriction, and issues derived from a life of poor posture true change is not as achievable. Our holistic approach addresses the entire body. We offer a wide range of services which include Active Release Technique, Chiropractic Adjustments, Personalized rehabilitation, and other soft tissue techniques to treat the entire body, not just the spine.

Tips for Running as the Seasons Change: Autumn

For much of the country, fall means infusing all of our favorite treats with pumpkin spice, but for runners it is the beginning of race season. Even if you are not a seasoned runner, this season beckons us to lace up our shoes and get outside! There’s no better time to give running a shot than in the fall, the moderate temperatures, natural beauty, and fresh crisp air make it an ideal time to lace up your running shoes and get outside. Whether you’re new to running or you’re an old pro, fall is a beautiful time to get outside. Want some tips and tricks to get you running?

From Turkey Trots to fall marathons, it’s go time. Fall races occur almost every weekend, check out this list of upcoming local races! With leaves changing colors, running is one of the best ways to scope out the beautiful views our area has to offer! 

FOOD TREATS Fall is a time for our favorite comfort foods. Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin pies, grandma's world famous cookies, and family gatherings all include to some serious calorie consumption. On average, American gains one to five pounds during the holiday season and most of that weight is never lost despite our best attempts as New Year's Resolutions. Does that mean you have to sacrifice mashed potatoes and apple pie? Not necessarily if you remain committed to your run schedule during these months you can stay ahead of those extra pounds and raise a toast to .

TAKE PROPER PRECAUTIONS Before you start running outside, take the proper safety measures. It's important to wear reflective garb especially since precious hours of light are limited, and more hazards are likely to present themselves with the shortening of the days.

WARM UPS ARE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT Few things can deflate your fitness goals like an injury. Running with cold muscles that are not properly stretched pre-run can result in strains that not only cause pain but also keep you from jogging the trails you love for days, weeks, and in some cases, even months. So take a few moments and prime those muscles for success! Start your run with a 5 to 10 minute jog and follow with some simple stretches. Key muscle groups to focus on would be the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors. Check out one of our prior posts for other great stretches to keep you fit and flexible while warming up those muscles for a great run!

ADD 10 MINUTES Even if you typically run in the wee hours of the morning, a 10-minute sleep loss won't hurt you. Remember to start at a slower pace to ensure a good warm-up. The increased distance will burn more fat and ramp up your fitness. If you have been running shorter miles in the summer months, now  is the time to ramp up the mileage and use the cooler weather to your advantage. These long runs can help you reignite the passion for distance running that may have fallen by the wayside during the heat wave of summer.

ADD A DAY Tack on an additional short-run day after your long run. You'll improve your fitness, and the easy running will increase blood flow to the muscles and speed your recovery. If your five-mile long run is on Saturday, do a gentle two-to three-miler on Sunday at the same pace as your long run.

CHECK OUT YOUR GEAR Modern runners have an enormous advantage to those who started out in the running boom of the late 1970s and 80s. The evolution of running gear and specially designed fabric such as polypropylene, capilene, and some wool/synthetic blends wick moisture away from your body and keep you as warm and dry as possible. These luxuries were not available to the early trail blazers. Enjoy fabrics, shoes, and gear specially designed for running in this season to ensure you enjoy a safe, dry, and more comfortable run!

Always remember, we are here to help you achieve your goals and keep you active! Schedule an appointment today! (864) 881-2242

Those Feet Were Made for Walking...not pain!

Those Feet Were Made for Walking...not pain!

With more than 3 million cases in the US each year, Plantar Fasciitis is a common ailment plaguing feet. This serious and painful condition occurs when the thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes develops tears and inflammation, leading to pain primarily in the heel and also in the bottom of the foot. The pain is typically sharp and usually unilateral, but sometimes occurs in both feet. Serious cases can lead to the rupture of the ligament and bone spurs on of the heel.

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The Straw That Broke the Camel's Back

Chiropractic is a nonsurgical treatment that is an alternative form of care for herniated discs.  Sometimes referred to as a “slipped disk” or a “ruptured disk,” a herniated disk occurs when some of the softer "jelly"  that cushions the disc pushes out through a crack in the tougher exterior.  Before we get technical, we need a little introduction to this condition.  With the exception of the first 2 vertebrae in the neck—the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2)—there is an intervertebral disc, made of  collagen between each vertebra of the spine.  Discs act as shock absorbers and shock distributors, and provide flexibility while protecting the spinal cord.

Imagine if you jump up and down. What would happen to the stack of bony vertebrae that make up the spine without the cushioning and support of these discs?  Now, move your back from side to side.  Again, you can visualize the give and take of the discs between the vertebrae.  Your spine could not function without these discs and could never accomplish the agility and flexibility needed to move while maintaining necessary protection to the delicate spinal cord.

Your discs are made up of the “annulus fibrosus” which is the tough outer layer made of collagen, and the “nucleus pulposus,” which contains a soft, gelatin-like center which acts as a cushion.  Imagine the annulus fibrosus as a donut and the nucleus pulposus as the jelly filling.  If you were to squeeze the donut the jelly filling would begin to spill out, this is a simplistic way of looking at a herniated disc, but an accurate display.  When cracks occur in the outer layer of the disc, the material inside of the disc can begin to protrude out and put pressure on nerves stemming from the spinal cord.  Additionally, inflammation from this process can affect the exiting nerve root.  Numerous factors can cause a disc to herniate.


For example, there may be too much stress on the disc due to poor posture or from being overweight.  Injuries can spring from lifting with poor form--using the back instead of lifting with the knees, in fact, a herniated disc can be caused by a combination of factors or a physical injury.  Often times we think of a disc injury as occurring during a single event, like a max effort deadlift.  This, however, has been shown to be untrue.  Our discs tend to degenerate with wear and tear throughout our lifetime, and then there may a small event, such as picking something up off the ground that is the "straw that broke the camel's back."

According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms may include:

  • Arm or leg pain. If your herniated disk is in your lower back, you'll typically feel the most intense pain in your buttocks, thigh and calf. It may also involve part of the foot. If your herniated disk is in your neck, the pain will typically be most intense in the shoulder and arm. This pain may shoot into your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze or move your spine into certain positions. (Mayo Clinic 2015)
  • Numbness or tingling. People who have a herniated disk often experience numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves. (Mayo Clinic 2015)
  • Weakness. Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This may cause you to stumble, or impair your ability to lift or hold items. (Mayo Clinic 2015)

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for a herniated disc, each patient’s treatment plan should be individualized based on the source of the pain, the severity of the herniation and resulting pain.  Our doctors contour each patient’s treatment to the individual needs of the patient. A combination of chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic exercises

Initially, the doctor may recommend cold/heat therapy.  During the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury, cold therapy can help reduce swelling, muscle spasm, and pain by reducing blood flow.  However, after the first 48 hours only heath therapy is recommended.  Heat increases blood flow to warm and relax soft tissues.  Increased blood flow helps to flush away toxins that may accumulate in tissues as a result of muscle spasm and disc injury.  Never apply ice or heat directly to skin; instead, wrap the cold or heat source in a thick towel for no longer than 15-20 minutes at a time.

Flexion and distraction is a technique that is an effective treatment for disc herniation.  This non-invasive technique reduces the pressure on spinal nerves from the herniation while increasing spinal motion.  The gentle pumping rhythm of Flexion Distraction enables the spinal disc to be placed under negative pressure, causing a vacuum effect within it. Because of this negative pressure, disc material that has protruded or herniated can be pulled back within the normal confines of the disc, and permit healing to occur.  This technique can help move the disc away from the nerve, reducing inflammation of the nerve root, and eventually any associated pain, pins and needles, numbness or weakness of the leg (that may be related to your herniated disc).

Neural Flossing or Nerve Flossing is a technique also commonly used with herniated discs.  Nerve flossing refers to a specific technique or exercise that restores normal motion between a nerve and the surrounding soft-tissues.  We analyze and determine what specific nerve that we need to address and proceed with a very specific nerve flossing protocol.  This technique helps to alleviate these agitated and hypersensitive peripheral nerves and central nerves.  These nerves are most likely partially responsible for some of numbness/tingling sensation that is commonly related to disc hernations.

These are just a few of the many techniques that we use to customize a treatment plan for each individual patient.  If you or someone you know are experiencing any symptoms similar to these or have been diagnosed with a disc herniation, don't spend another day suffering!  Give us a call (864) 881-2242 and let us get you back to your best self!





Back to School -- Secrets for Success

Back to School -- Secrets for Success

As students and teachers head back to school we want to give you a few tips to make the transition as smooth as possible! Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health, it’s just as important as eating right, exercising, and getting a good night's sleep. Good posture coupled with balanced nutrition and rest is a recipe for starting off this school year with more energy, less stress and fatigue! 

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The Fastest Man in the World: A Journey From Scoliosis to Olympic Success

Take some advice from the fastest man in the world! A man that remains unbeaten since 2008. He has won 6 Olympic gold medals, never placing for silver or bronze. He has won world championship collecting 8 first place wins and setting world records along the way. But this path to championship was hard earned through obstacles and health complications.

But Usain’s speed on the track and world record position has not come without challenges. As a young man, Bolt suffered from scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine which often leaves the individual with permanent complications. "When I was younger, the scoliosis wasn't really a problem. But you grow and it gets worse. My spine was really curved badly. The early part of my career, when we didn't really know much about it, it really hampered me because I got injured every year." Traditional treatment would have required spinal fusion surgery and insertion of a metal rod to straighten his spine, and time in restrictive braces, all of which would destroying the possibility of pursuing his dream, so Usain turned to a non-invasive alternative: Chiropractic Care.

"I've worked hard over the years. I've been injured and I've worked hard through it, and I've made it." Bolt uses chiropractic not only to treat his scoliosis, but also to bounce back more quickly from track injuries and enhance his performance while healthy. He notes: "As long as I'm in great shape, nobody beats me, for sure." 

So if chiropractic care is good enough for the fastest man in the world, transforming him from a young man suffering from scoliosis to a world champion, what could chiropractic do for you?

Call our office today! (864)881-2242

Think Like An Olympian! Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization Therapy

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, a champion who has received the most Olympic medals of all time, noted that he receives instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization technique treatments to keep him in top form. “My trainer uses instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization tools, these little metal crowbars. He carves them into my shoulder blades, my back, my knee, my hamstrings-wherever I’m really tight-to loosen things up. It’s pretty intense.” This Olympic champion has won 22 Olympic medals and holds the record for the most medals won and attributes much of his success to the therapy which keeps him in top form!

Here at Carolina Active Health Chiropractic, we utilize Instrument Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) to help enhance recovery and rehabilitation along with manual chiropractic adjustments.  We use HawkGrips instruments which are a hard-edged instrument made of metal to add shearing stress to soft tissue in order to enhance the body’s healing response. The instruments are also used diagnostically to follow the kinetic chain to locate and treat the cause of the symptom as well as the specific area of pain. IASTM decreases the overall time of treatment, fosters faster rehabilitation/recovery, reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication, and resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent. 

Another therapy our office specializes in is the (FAKTR) Technique. Drawing upon the same principle as as IASTM, founder Dr. Tom Hyde developed a variation of the technique adding movement to the IASTM therapy to enhance the rehabilitative process. FAKTR can treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions including tendinopathy, sprains, strains, and entrapment syndromes, fascial restrictions such as plantar fasciitis, ITB syndrome, myofascial pain syndromes, adhesive capsulitis, shin splints and post-surgical recovery.  This list of conditions that can be treated with FAKTR protocols are too numerous to list here!  This unique approach to treating in the position of provocation (pain, loss of range of motion, feeling of tightness within the fascia/soft tissues) and during motion sets FAKTR-certified providers in a class all their own. Dr. Michael Nelson is FAKTR certified and trained directly under Dr. Tom Hyde, the technique founder.

Michael Phelps attributed much of his peak performance to the therapy he received. So if instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization is good enough for a record setting Olympian what could it do for you? 

Call our office today and find out what chiropractic care can do for you! Live life, be active! 864-881-2242


The Winning Combination: Athletes & Chiropractic Care

Many US Olympic athletes striving for gold in Rio 2016, will be using a secret weapon to help achieve their goals chiropractic care. Many athletes use chiropractic not only for rehabilitation purposes, but also because they feel it gives them a special edge during competitions. Professional athletes are increasingly turning to chiropractic care as a drug-free alternative to relieve pain and keep peak condition. Pro athletes have a discovered a secret weapon they keep in their back pockets: chiropractic care. According to Dr. Andrew Klein, the official chiropractor for the 2000 US Olympic medical staff, the key reason why athletes have sought out chiropractic: it keeps them in top shape without the use of drugs. "Athletes have come to rely on manual therapy because the list of banned substances for the Olympics is so long, and also because they feel it enhances their performance."

Treating far more than just the spine

It’s a common myth that chiropractors only treat back and neck pain. Athletes seek out the expertise of chiropractors familiar with the needs of athletes for injuries impacting all parts of the body, not just the neck and spine, this is because any injury that affects the nervous system can lead to pain and stress. Your nervous system coordinates nearly every function of the body so if you have sustained an injury or stressed the alignment of vertebrae, then other problems are sure to make themselves known. Athletes, especially, put such a large demand on different areas of their bodies that they benefit greatly from chiropractic care techniques and therapy.

Our Chiropractors Know Athlete's Needs

Drs. Michael & Kelsey Nelson have special training and athletic training backgrounds that gives them a special understanding of sports related injuries. They know how to diagnose, treat and strengthen athletes so that they can avoid future injuries due to repeated stress. As the official chiropractor of the Clemson Tigers, Dr Nelson treats athletes on a daily bases and has a unique perspective of sports medicine because of his background in personal training. 

Take Your Performance to the Next Level

If you are a physically active person you may not think of yourself as an athlete, but this is exactly what you are: an athlete. This means that you too would benefit from chiropractic care. So as you are anticipating the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio 2016, consider your secret weapon to tackle your life goals. Chiropractic care can change your life, so get in the game and take your performance to the next level, a step ahead of the game! Our doctors are equipped to treat anything from muscle sprains to joint injuries and of course back pain! Their holistic philosophy is to the whole person, not just the injury. Whether your goal is pro-ball, running, lifting, body building, or just getting more active so you can enjoy life without pain we are here to give you a boost to reach your life goals!

The Team Behind The Team: Sports Chiropractic

The Team Behind The Team: Sports Chiropractic

Chiropractic care is becoming the treatment of choice in sports medicine and many athletic trainers encourage it before, during and after any physical performance. Sports chiropractic is not only beneficial to the experienced and professional athlete, but also to collegiate athletes, young players and weekend warriors. 

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New Guidelines for Prescription Opioids Promote Conservative Healthcare

New Guidelines for Prescription Opioids Promote Conservative Healthcare

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s new guidelines, issued in March of this year, are working to stem the epidemic and encourage conservative options first for patients experiencing symptoms of pain. For a patient, understanding the value of exhausting non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical approaches for pain management is critical. 

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What Can Chiropractic Care Do For Me?

What Can Chiropractic Care Do For Me?

Chiropractic care is a conservative, comprehensive and holistic approach that aims to improve the quality of life for anyone experiencing a neuromusculoskeletal condition, or disorders of the joints, nerves and muscles. Numerous research studies have shown services provided by chiropractic physicians are both safe and effective. The natural, whole-body and cost-effective approach of chiropractic care can treat and improve a variety of conditions. 

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Chiropractic Treatment and Nutrition

Chiropractic Treatment and Nutrition

Treating people with chronic diseases accounts for 86 percent of our nation’s healthcare costs according to the CDC. The most common, costly and preventable health problems include heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity and arthritis. These are major drivers of rising healthcare costs, sickness and disability in our society. Holistic chiropractic care can be aligned with nutritional education to maximize full-body wellness and performance. 

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