What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a self defence process of the body in which white blood cells and associated cells they produce protect us from infection from foreign organisms like bacteria and viruses. Inflammation response is triggered by the body's immune system to protect tissue from harm and balance the cells.
What causes inflammation and the effects on the body
When inflammation occurs chemicals from your white blood cells are released into your blood, damaged or infected body tissue. This increases blood flow to the area and usually means it feels hot and looks red. Depending on what has caused the inflammation fluid may go into surrounding tissue and cause swelling.
This protective process may stimulate nerves and cause pain.
The increase in fluid from the inflammation response and tissue damage may increase pain with movement. The inflammation response in lots of cases works directly with the pain response and is initially protection then healing and repair. In the case of acute inflammation antibodies and proteins are released and the redness and swelling lasts a few hours or days.
The problem with inflammation is when the response lingers, leaving the body on high alert and constantly releasing chemicals into the area, this leads to a negative impact on the tissues and organs and more pain.
Chronic inflammation plays a large role in a number of diseases, some types of arthritis are the result of inflammation.
Inflammation arthritis below
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Gout arthritis
Other inflammation conditions of the joints and musculoskeletal system include osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular lower back pain and neck pain.
How is Inflammation treated?
In a perfect world it would not need treating as the response is first to protect the tissue, joint etc then to go through a healing process.
Treatment Goals of Inflammation are:-
- Correct, control, or slow down the underlying disease process and find the source or reason for inflammation and correct, usually with medication
- Avoid or modify activities that aggravate pain and Inflammation
- Relieve pain through pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs
- Maintain joint movement and muscle strength through physical therapy
- Decrease stress on the joints by using supports, or walking aids as needed
Depending on the cause of inflammation movement is essential to aid with recovery both while the area is in inflammation and post the inflammation episode.
The type of treatment prescribed will depend on several factors, including the type of disease, the person's age, type of medications he or she is taking, overall health, medical history, and severity of symptoms.
Initially medication is over the counter Paracetamol for pain and Ibuprofen for inflammation.
Post GP visit the drugs will do the same but be stronger for example Tramacet for pain and Naproxen for anti inflammation. Other medications to treat any infections is also given depending on the cause.
The next stages vary depending on success of manual therapy and previous medication. If pain and swelling is still a problem Corticosteroids injected into the site of pain along with an analysis of the swelling to look at infection and medical options.
Alternative Treatment for Inflammation
For acute injury to a joint compression and ice are effective in aiding the body's natural response. This followed by a structured period of rest ice and heat along with movement will aid recovery significantly.
Chronic inflammation is when the body is in a constant immune response so is always fighting infection or disease. This response is supported chemically from your "Gut" and digestive system. This is usually out of balance and inflamed itself in chronic situations and needs re balancing. Nutritionist support is key along with specific supplements to help with the inflammation.
The active anti-inflammatory element of Turmeric is curcumin. This has been used in Chinese medicine to reduce inflammation, treat digestive issues, infections and surface wounds.
Again Green Tea has been used in Chinese Medicine to help with Heart conditions green tea can be an effective anti-inflammatory, particularly in the treatment of arthritis. It can also reduce inflammation of the digestive tract, potentially helping conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Numerous research papers cite Ginger as having a positive anti-inflammatory response and in some cases more effective than traditional non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Ginger also impacts on genes for inflammation and can help break the inflammation cycle.
Other supplements are White Willow bark, Maritime Pine Bark, Chilli Peppers, Cats Claw, Rosemary, Cloves and Cinnamon.
Nutritional support and supplements should be used in combination with a balanced diet and nutritional support from an experienced Nutritionist.
Pain and Inflammation Link
Pain and inflammation tend to be linked and are circular in nature as one increases it stimulates the other to increase. Medication is targeted to suppress the cycle but not address the root cause or help the problem heal. InterX Treatment reduces inflammation by targeting the inflammation site and re energising the cells to work aerobically and the move out of the way. Simultaneously the InterX is stimulating the brain to release more pain and anti-inflammatory endorphins and cells to treat the painful area. Remember Inflammation is good as long as the cells are energised and working correctly to move to a healing phase. InterX treatment can help more information here.