Total Health Chiropractic Center

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Natural Arthritis Pain Relief Without The Associated Risks of NSAIDS

What if you could take a natural supplement for arthritis with virtually no side effects, have the same of better relief than some prescription medications, and have other promising health benefits? 

MC900438751A recent study in San Diego presented at The World Congress on osteoarthritis demonstrated a combination of Curcumin and Boswellia extracts relieved knee pain better than Celecoxib (generic brand name Celebrex®).  Turmeric is a member of the Ginger family and contains Curcumin, the principal curcuminoid found in turmeric, is generally considered its most active constituent.  When combined with Boswellia extract the two products complemented well. 1,2,3

Subjects in the study were classified with moderate osteoarthritis and joint swelling between the ages of 18 to 65 of both sexes.  One group was given Celecoxib, 100 mg, two times daily for 12 weeks, the other group was given 500 mg Curcumin and Boswellia two times daily for 12 weeks.  At the end of the study 93% of the group treated with the herbal combination reported improvement or elimination of pain vs. 79 percent of the drug group and there were no serious adverse effects.  Blood and Liver function was monitored throughout the study.  Also 93% of the subjects taking the curcumin-boswellia supplement could walk more than 1,000 meters, versus 86% in the Celecoxib group.  The herbal group also experienced improved joint movement with less crepitus.

Other comparative studies have demonstrated similar results and other health benefits such as cancer prevention and  for co-treatment in Cystic Fibrosis, and other inflammatory diseases.  It is believed curcumin regulated Cytokine reactions involved in immune  and inflammatory responses. 2

Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis in people over 55 years of age.  It is estimated that 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis.  To relieve osteoarthritic pain most people turn to Non Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Celebrex.  NSAID’s relieve pain but when taken long term are associated with gastrointestinal, kidney and heart risks and other possible damage.  So the Curcumin / Boswellia extract combination could offer a safer alternative to NSAID’s.

Caution should be used if you are pregnant or lactating.  You should always check with your doctor before starting a new therapy and to verify possible drug interactions.

I recommend a similar standardized Turmeric and Boswellia supplement for my patients that fit the definition of moderate osteoarthritis and other inflammatory diseases. 


Curtis Haake D.C.                                                                  Health Coach




2 (2005: Jane Higdon, Ph.D. Linus Pauling Institute Oregon State

3 Clinical Evaluation of an Herbal Formulation in the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis. Poster presentation at the Osteoarthritis Research Symposium International (OARSI) Annual World Congress on Osteoarthritis, September 15-18, 2011. San Diego, CA. B. Antony, R. Kizhakkedath, M. Benny, B. Kuruvilla. University)




This information is not intended as medical advice for individual problems. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this site is expressly disclaimed.

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Spinal Disc Injuries

About 250,000 patients undergo lumbar spine surgery each year. almost 50% will not gain the desired outcome and up to 15% will be worse off following surgery.   Common symptoms of disc related pain are:

  1. Muscle Weakness
  2. Pain shooting down through the buttock and thigh into the back of your leg
  3. Pain when you cough, sneeze, strain, or have a bowel movement
  4. Pain and/or tingling  in the shoulder, arm or hand
  5.  Incontinence brought on by affected nerves to the bladder and bowel

So the spinal disc can contribute to some forms of back/neck pain depending on the severity and longevity of your symptoms.  Understanding the spinal disc and their function will lead to a healthier back.

Basically the spinal discs are cartilage pads between spinal bones filled with a jellylike center.  Think of your car tire, the steel belts are just like the fibrous layers of the disk with the jellylike fluid center where the rim would be.  The disc acts as a connector and spacer / shock absorber for the spine.  When the disc is healthy it is flexible, strong and allows normal turning and bending.

Like most ligaments the spinal disc has poor circulation and blood supply, so movement is critical for proper circulation of joint fluids to bring nutrients in and waste products out.   So proper spinal joint movement acts like a pump to move fluids in and out of the joint and its spinal disc.   As the disc dries out it can become more fragile, brittle and less flexible.  This is how disc problems begin.  Repeated traumas, pressures, and lack of movement can cause a spinal disc to tear from the inside out which leads to disc bulges, herniation or even a rupture.   This causes abnormal pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots which leads to pain and impaired function.

The chiropractic approach to these disc injuries is to restore proper motion to the disc and its related spinal joint.  The adjustments will reduce the disc bulge increase circulation and reduce inflammation and begin the slow process of healing.  Once chiropractic restores mobility and initial stability then we introduce specific exercises to strengthen the surrounding tissues and address the cause of your disc injury not just the symptoms.  Each persons injury is unique so results to chiropractic care and customized exercises will vary.  In our experience with these type of spinal injuries early intervention is best and we can specific nutritional to assist decreasing inflammation and increase healing.

Fun Fact: There are 23 discs in the human spine and as we age the fluid content of these discs begins to dry out.  Just a 1/8″ loss in each of the 23 spinal discs would equal almost 3″ loss in overall body height.  For more information on back pain check out our Free eBook at  At Total Health Chiropractic we have many different treatment modalities to address your unique health crisis.

Dr. Haake

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Re-Think Aging

j0309148The top three diseases that effect the elderly population are arthritis, cancer and cardiovascular disease (Blood Pressure, heart disease, and stroke).  These diseases are currently treated; once developed with prescription medications.

Did you know that these prescription drugs are used to only manage the symptoms of a disease and they do not restore normal function nor can they maintain health.  Once you develop one of the top three diseases prescription medication is used to maintain a better quality of life, but realize you can still be proactive and manage a disease at the same time.

Whether you are approaching your golden years or  any age in between 20 to 80; life style issues are the same.


Stay Active-Stay Strong: Age or being young and sedentary can rob your physical strength, decrease muscle mass / bone mass, slow digestion and lower immunity.  The Solution: is regular exercise, a sound and nutrient packed diet, nutritional supplements for mineral and bone support.  If exercise is a problem try classes, community swimming, or home recumbent equipment.  Seek initial supervision / examination and planning through a Health-Coach to get started.

Regular Examinations: If you are already in your golden years or in your 20’s you should have annual examinations / physicals / or selected examinations for known health risksThe Solution: Keep your annual physical biometrics such as blood pressure, blood sugar, body weight, cholesterol, triglycerides, vitamin D values To track any changes so early intervention can be implemented or other testing can be performed.

Set  Health Goals: Health goals keep you on track to better quality of life and motivate you to stay healthy.  They are usually challenging but attainable or realistic.  Once reached reward yourself for a healthy job well done!  The Solution: In your golden years try staying in touch with friends and family, involve your life with social events and hobbies.  In your twenties try being more active aerobically and lower daily stress with better coping strategies.

Realize 80 percent of disease is preventable and the younger you start the better off you will be.  In your golden years realize that medication alone will not cure a disease and being proactive goes along way in really managing a disease or health condition.

Walnut Creek Chiropractor

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3 Secrets To Neck Pain Relief

Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Just about everyone has experienced neck pain and most causes of neck pain are not serious. Most neck pain starts out as a strained muscle in the neck or shoulder from postural or repetitive stress.

But for many the neck pain can progress over a few months to a few years and signify something more serious. If you experience any of the following with neck pain: numbness or tingling or strength loss into the arms or hands, bowel or bladder problems, inability to touch your chin to your chest, then seek medical attention immediately.

I you experience repeated neck pain or acute episodes that subside only to return again in a month or two you may be feeling degeneration happening to the joints in your neck with nerve irritation. Eventually this can turn into something more serious or even arthritis.

After a thorough examination a treatment plan can be created to get you back on track and teach you how to take care of your neck.

The three secrets to neck pain relief we address in our office helps with repetitive stress, postural support and exercises to help strengthen your neck. Download our 3 Secrets To Neck Pain Relief e-Book today. The e-Book is Free and contains some of the exercises proven to strengthen your neck and address your health crisis. This e-Book is not for self diagnosis and is to help you make an informed decision about you neck pain.

Dr. Haake

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What Stresses You Out

What Stresses You

Conflict exists all around us. Within all our lives conflict can be quite stressful. This stress can be physical or emotional strain and can build up over time or inundate us all at once.

Stress can be a performance enhancer or act as a performance killer. This demands we keep stress at a manageable level. Our physical and mental performance will react to stress in a good way when stress is manageable.

Positive Stressors

Some Examples:

* Setting and meeting small goals to make a deadline
* Taking a test
* Making difficult decisions with accurate information
* Completing a task while being evaluated

Negative Stressors

* Doing more with less
* Dissatisfied with work environment
* Poor financial state due to suffering economy
* Marital issues or death in the family

Coping Strategies

1. Perform a self-evaluation and determine if you have coping strategies to manage stress. Physical coping strategies can be a vacation or daily exercise.
2. Communication with your significant other / family or in the work force. This is one of the most important coping strategies. Communication can put things into perspective and reduce conflict.
3. Prioritize life’s issues. This puts things into perspective, can reduce anxiety and address potential problems at an early stage.

Regardless of how you decide to deal with stress it must first be recognized. Try to use positive stress as a motivator and recognize negative stress before it becomes out of control. If you feel life’s events out of control, help is available to address your unique and important needs.

Help is Available

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3 Secrets to Lower Back Pain Relief


If you are 18 to 80 years old then you have probably experienced some sort of lower back pain.  Back pain in general is the second most common cause of job related disability in the United States.  The United States Government statistics estimates Americans spend $50+ Billion dollars each year on back pain alone.

But when should you be concerned?  When if ever, is back pain acceptable?  If you have low back pain you should have a chiropractic or medical examination to assess it an then determine a treatment plan.  Low back pain has many causes, from a simple muscle strain to more serious condition.  Sciatica, lumbar disc herniation, osteoarthritis, internal disease, or even cancer is but a few causes of low back pain.

Let’s first distinguish the two different kinds of low back pain.

Acute Low Back Pain


Acute low back pain is more often associated with a trauma from a sporting event to sleeping on the couch.  Acute low back pain usually last a few days to under two weeks and does not limit your work or daily activities.


Chronic Low Back Pain


Chronic low back pain is progressive in that you felt it for a few weeks it got 90% better then keeps flaring up several times a year.  Chronic low back pain can persists for 2-3 months and is always in the “background.”  Arthritis, disc herniation, sciatica are common causes.




Most Low back pain has a neurologic cause.  Nerves run all through the spine, muscles, ligaments and around the joints.  Whether you strain a muscle, sprain a ligament or sprain a joint, acute pain that turns into chronic pain is probably more nerve related and re-occurring.



Your lower back pain has a cause and that cause is not “lack of Aspirin” or “I’m getting old” or “I’ve had too much exercise.”   I do not promote self diagnosis so I highly recommend a chiropractic or medical examination do properly diagnose the problem or true cause.  Research has demonstrated in lab studies that lack of joint motion over an extended time creates small incremental changes to joint surfaces and the joint fluid necessary for proper function.

Without proper joint movement then what attaches to and between them atrophies or degenerates.  This would be the ligaments; muscles and nerve tissue needed for proper movement which helps circulate nutrients to the joints in the first place.

In our Free eBook 3 Secrets to Lower Back Pain Relief, we discuss in more detail the 3 Secrets and give you 6 exercises proven to strengthen the core stabilizers of the spine.  These structures are responsible for 75% of lower back pain and when weakened can lead to more serious conditions; Disc Herniation, Spinal Stenosis, arthritis or internal disease.

The first secret is to admit there is a problem, and then get a proper examination to determine what the real cause for your lower back pain is.  IF you experience lower back pain that lasts more that 7 days, prevents you from working or walking, is accompanied by leg or foot numbness, or sudden weight loss…Get a chiropractic or medical examination to determine the cause, it could save you from early arthritis and future medical costs, and could even save your life!

I have helped hundreds of low back pain sufferers through chiropractic care and customized exercise programs. Our office, Total Health chiropractic Center has modern therapies such as cold Laser, flexion Traction, and Ultrasound to assist in soft tissue repair and healing.

Please download our Free eBook on 3 Secrets to Lower Back Pain Relief to learn more about your treatment options and possible exercises to help you live Happy, Healthy, and Pain-Free.

Dr. Haake

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Temptation in Health

Don't give in to temptation

Don't give in to temptation


Sam Levinson, a humorist and author said, “lead us not into temptation.  Just tell us where it is; we’ll find it.”

We are all faced with temptation every healthy moment.  Your temptation may be complacency in your exercise program, it may be in your diet when you eat those ever tempting donuts or other gooey office snacks when you really no you shouldn’t.  Or, always eating seconds but feeling terrible after.  You get my point…

When I health coach employees at a company or individuals at the clinic temptation is an issue hidden in our behavior that leads to health issues.  I ask my patients to start to become aware of temptation and choices.  Ask yourself, what one thing can I change this week and stick to it?   Think about your choice, make it one you really feel connected to.  Write it down and post it at your desk or put it in as a daily appointment that comes up on your phone or computer every day for a week.  Maybe your change is to eat breakfast every morning, or one less cigarette a day. The goal here is to feel the desire to change, stick to it because you want to.  Setting a realistic goal, connect it’s outcome to not giving in to temptation.

So set one small,   daily goal to change one thing about your health.  After one month set another goal and you are on your way to living healthy and being healthy, I tempt you!

Let us know what your change was and how you did !

Curtis Haake D.C.

Health Coach