Why I Have Pain…The Effects of Air Pollution and Chemical Exposure

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  • By Andrew Mackie
Why I Have Pain…The Effects of Air Pollution and Chemical Exposure

Ever wondered about the effects of air pollution?


The obvious symptoms come to mind, like headaches, breathing problems, skin irritation, and so on. 


I sat down the other day to write an article about mattresses and pain relief.


Back pain, neck pain, joint pain. We have seen people come in with all these issues who have found major relief by switching to a more comfortable, more supportive mattress, and sometimes even by finding themselves the right pillow.


As I was writing, I got off topic remembering a woman I met at a conference a while back who told me of how she had had pain her whole life. Chronic back and joint pain that totally limited her ability to be active. Really her ability to live a normal life of any kind.


She tried everything for it. Every treatment you can imagine. 


Medical, Alternative. Specialists, Chiro, massage, acupuncture, orthotics, exercises, medication, herbs, and so on.


(not to say that these treatments don’t produce incredible results in thousands of people)


But in her case, nothing helped. Or at least, nothing gave her enough relief to live the life she wanted.


She was considering some risky, experimental therapies when she met a doctor who recommended cleaning up her environment.


This meant paying attention to what was around her, and getting away from anything offgassing, made from synthetics, or sprayed with chemicals. Basically staying away from anything that could result in chemicals or toxins getting into her body.


He was suggesting that her chronic pain was due to the effects of air pollution, and exposure to low levels of offgassing chemicals. Certainly something she hadn’t considered.


She was skeptical, but at the same time felt there wasn’t much to lose.


Sure enough, as she started to change her lifestyle, she started feeling better. Instantly.


Quickly a believer, she continued to improve her environment, to de-toxify her body, and continued to be able increase her level of activity.


Now she runs several miles a day. Does yoga, pilates, dance classes. Certainly not taking for granted the ability to live and move without pain.


Her story is not unique.


Body pain is generally thought of as structural, or physical. But it is often a symptom of chemical exposure. A sign that your body is not able to process what is going into it. These exposures, even at low levels, can weaken tendons and soft-tissue, and limit the body’s ability to repair itself.


So yes, a new, supportive mattress is going to make you feel better, and help you sleep better, because it is more comfortable. But it may also help you feel better for reasons you never thought of.


And hey, there aren’t really many negative side effects to living in a cleaner environment. There aren’t any negative effects of avoiding air pollution and chemical exposure. So, keep on with your usual medical, fitness, nutrition and holistic care, and consider your the whole picture. Consider your environment and the things you surround yourself with. It may be the missing piece between you and your optimal self.