We have all heard the term inflammation before, particularly if we have injured ourselves. But what is inflammation? Inflammation is the process which causes pain, swelling, heat and redness around the injured area. So inflammation is what causes pain, great to know, but what is truly the purpose behind the process?
In most cases we would think if inflammation is causing us pain then we must get rid of it? Right? So take a few anti-inflammatories such as Neurofen and off we go. WRONG. Inflammation is actually an important process that our body must go through to help heal the damaged tissue. The pain lets us know we have damaged tissue, the swelling and increased blood flow allows for white blood cells to infiltrate the tissue to help repair along with remove any unwanted material. So why would we want to stop this process? and what happens if we take a anti-inflammatories?

Sure, anti-inflammatories can help with the pain, but we need to feel that pain in the initial stages so we don’t reinjure that tissue otherwise we can increase the likelihood of making the injury worse. Anti-inflammatories also interrupt the natural healing process that inflammation supports. Therefore what ends up happening long term is we get an over exaggerated inflammation response which can cause prolonged pain, tissue damage and dysfunction.
But there are ways we can dampen the inflammation process without eliminating it. A good example of this is the R.I.C.E. protocol which is rest, ice, compress, and elevate. This will help modulate your pain and allow mobility through the affected area. We can also use alternative therapies to help modulate the pain and facilitate the healing process such as manual therapies, acupuncture and anti-inflammatory topical creams.
The question is how do we move into a chronic inflammatory state then if we are not taking anti-inflammatories? We will leave that question for the next blog…….

If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment at Neurohealth Chiropractic – please call the clinic on 9905 9099 or email us admin@neurohealthchiro.com.au or fill in the contact form from our website www.neurohealthchiro.com.au

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This article is written by Dr. Braeden Melmer, Chiropractor @ Neurohealth