Most think that pain is self-limiting. The thought commonly goes something like this: “If I am tough enough, I will just handle the pain.  I can manage and deal with the pain.  Surrendering to pain only makes me weak.”  Many think that pain is just a signal that is unrelated to your health.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Chronic Pain and the Cancer Link

Pain is a signal.  This is true. It is a signal telling your body that something is wrong.  Scientific studies have shown that pain is directly related to your overall health.  More specifically,  the more pain you have and the longer you have it, the greater your chance of developing cancer.

  • Widespread body pain and mortality: prospective population based study
      • British Medical Journal 2001;323:662
      • 6569 people studied
  • Results: Chronic Pain is associated with a 55% increased risk of death from cancer than the control group (asymptomatic general population.)

This study analyzed chronic pain in over 6500 people and found that people with chronic pain have more than a 50% greater chance of developing cancer than those people that do not have chronic pain.

Pain and Inflammation

Pain typically indicates inflammation.  Inflammation is the common denominator in most disease processes including cancer.  Most understand inflammation as swelling, heat, and redness.  You may think of your body’s initial reaction to an injury where you bump your head.  It becomes raised, swollen, and hurts.  Well, this same type of process is going on inside of your body constantly when you are in chronic pain.

And the longer you have it, the more work it takes the body to manage the effects of this inflammation.  Your body has to work harder and harder without you even realizing it.  And over time, changes begin to take place in the areas of inflammation.  In and around the bones this may manifest as arthritis.  Chronic pain and inflammation in the digestive system may result in conditions like Ulcerative Colitis or Crone’s disease.   Regardless of the location, when the inflammation is present long enough and depending on other factors with your health and genetics, the body’s tissues can change, morph if you will, and become cancerous.

The 5 Factors to Good Health

One of the challenges with inflammation is that it is not easy to detect.  And if you do not know it is there, the only real way to treat it or to manage it is to be preventative or proactive.  Following the Five Factors to Good Health is a way to ensure you are minimizing inflammation and pain in the body.

1 – Water – Drink ½ of your body weight in ounces each day.  If you way 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water.

2 – Sleep – Sleep well – 6-9 hours per night.  Do your best to go to sleep at the same time and wake at the same time to ensure optimal brain rhythms and patterns.

3- Nutrition – Eat an Alkaline based diet.  Take supplements such as Fish Oil which are proven to reduce inflammation.

4- Posture, Alignment, and Exercise – Keep moving , keep standing tall,  and keep your structure fit.  This is your body and you can’t get a new one if it breaks down.

5- Breathe – Take time each day to sit quietly and be conscious of your breathing.  Take breaths that are about 75% of your deepest breath with long steady inhalations and long steady exhalations.