In Defence of Inflammation
Inflammation - the root of all pain and discomfort. We’ve all been told our aches and pains originate from this horrible phenomenon, and by decreasing the inflammation in our body will cause the pain to disappear.
Let me try to put a good word in for inflammation.
Most of us had the displeasure to receive a papercut or tried to mimic Gordon Ramsey’s
basic cutting techniques and almost lost a finger. The damage has been done and the wound is now bleeding. It is red and swollen, quite painful and any movement causes further irritation. Once the bleeding stops you’ll walk around with the Batman bandage until a scab forms, followed by new skin formation and a little scar which reminds you why you’re not a chef.
Now brace yourself:
Half of the steps listed to generate the brand new skin are due to a process called the Inflammatory response.
Inflammation is necessary to initiate the repair process.
Inflammation opens the healing and repair gates. The response creates irritation on nervous tissue so as to alert your body that some structure is out of balance and increases the inflow of blood, proteins, plasma, and phagocytic materials to generate that fancy new skin. Acute Inflammation takes about 3 days to get the job started.
Without Inflammation; a wound/infection or damaged tissue would unfortunately not effectively repair and heal. A person with decreased quantities of inflammation at a target site would take longer to heal and would be suffering from an injury for a prolonged period. If an infection or restricted joint persists, an overreaction of the inflammatory response would occur, letting your body know that whatever is causing the pain or discomfort is still present and needs attention. Inflammation which lingers for more than 7-10 days indicates a persisting irritation.
Thus, our bodies strive to maintain a balance; too much inflammation – something is still
array. Too little inflammation – our bodies cannot initiate the repair process and prolonged injuries persist.
So how do we deal with inflammatory pain then?
- By treating the cause of the symptoms.
The inflammation will start to subside once the infection/restricted joint/strained muscle or papercut is taken care of.
Unfortunately some systemic conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout and Ankylosis Spondylitis cause a continuous release of inflammatory factors and needs to be regulated by your doctor.
Conditions due to acute or chronic trauma, wear and tear or dysfunction may be supplemented with natural substances such as Omega 3 and 6 or assessed by a physical practitioner to discover the root of the cause.
This poor guy called inflammation is basically creating discomfort where healing needs to take place by putting a big red sticker on it. The process is unfortunately a painful one but necessary to keep your body healthy.