Inflammation has become a mainstream word that most people understand. In practice, I use it daily to describe symptoms most people present with in the clinic.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is your body’s response to stress. When we land on an outstretched arm we get inflammation in the shoulder, elbow or neck. If we “roll” or twist an ankle from not paying attention or from atheletics we get, you can probably guess it, inflammation. Inflammation is the natural response of your body to fix an injury.
What causes inflammation?
- injury (macrotrauma)
- poor diet especially one high in sugars (refined and otherwise)
- poor posture and repetitive movement (microtrauma)
However, the caveat to that is systemic inflammation (ie throughout the blood and body). Since your blood is circulating to all of you cells it should make sense that what you eat, drink, smoke and breath may cause inflammation in various places of the body.
If I have pain does it mean I have inflammation?
Yes! We experience inflammation or local inflammation from arthritis, injury or overuse.
Is inflammation and swelling the same thing?
The physiology of inflammation is that the body will respond to injury with increased white blood cells and the chemicals they release to the site of injury. The blood vessels contract around the site of injury to prevent blood from moving too quickly away, since the blood is the transporter of the “repairmen” this is a good thing to an extent. Too much swelling may cause increase symptoms and other injuries in the short term which is why it’s necessary to ice an injury quickly and often with a new injury especially.
Acute vs Chronic Inflammation
With acute inflammation you will see reddening, increased heat and notice the area is swollen. With chronic inflammation- inflammation that has been there for longer than 3-months you may not notice these signs as much, but you still may. Chronic inflammation is going to be those joints that have been aching for years and create arthritis.
To read about how to reduce acute and chronic inflammation in the body click here.
What diseases are associated with inflammation?
- Gouty Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthrits
- Heart Disease (CAD)
What are the signs/symptoms of inflammation?
- tender to the touch
- joint pain or stiffness
- loss of joint function
How to fix inflammation?
Depends on the inflammation. If we are talking musculoskeletal inflammation like joint pain, back pain or other pain related to these then you fix naturally or with allopathic medicine.
Some natural treatments for joint pain, tears in tendons/ligaments and tendonitis are listed below. These help to treat the source of the inflammation and correct it permanently by helping the body to heal itself.
- Stem Cell Therapy Injections
- Plasma-Rich Protein Injections
- Supplements: Turmeric and Ginger
Some Allopathic Medicine methods of treatment for inflammation are listed below. These come with higher risk and little reward since we know it’s only a bandaid.
- Cortisone Injections- known to harm all tissue near it and potentially create tendon rupture.
- Anti-Inflammatories like Advil, Motrin or IB Profen which are hard on the kidneys
- Muscle Relaxers
- Oral steroid or Intramuscular steroid
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