Inflammation: The Good and The Bad
Updated: Feb 10
Inflammation is a defense mechanism in the the body that is triggered by the bodies response to injury and infection. When the immune system recognises damaged cells or foreign substances such as irritants or pathogens, it attempts to remove the harmful stimuli and begin the natural healing process. Wounds, infections, and any damage to tissue would not be able to heal appropriately without an inflammatory response. However, sometimes inflammation can hang around the body for longer than it should, and this is where it can become harmful and damaging. Chronic inflammation is not part of the bodies natural healing process, and is instead an ongoing and destructive process where the body gets caught in a persistent low-level inflammation causing the immune system to attack and damage organs, nerves and arteries.There is always more research coming out in regards to chronic inflammation leading to the development of many diseases and conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, atherosclerosis, periodontitis, and hay fever.
Inflammation is often associated with the symptoms of pain, stiffness and discomfort, depending on the severity. This pain is primarily due to the swelling that is pushing against sensitive nerve endings.
As previously mentioned, sometimes inflammation is good as it is part of the natural healing process. This is why reducing inflammation is not always necessary, however in some cases the following treatment options are prescribed/recommended.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce the pain caused by inflammation
Corticosteroids that help to prevent a number of mechanisms involved in inflammation
Herbal supplements (turmeric, ginger, hyssop, cannabis) which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties
A focus on diet, as foods such as olive oil, tomatoes, nuts, leafy greens, fatty fish, and fruit have been shown to decrease inflammation. Also avoiding foods such as fried foods, red meat, breads/pastries, and sugary drinks as they aggravate inflammation.
If you are experiencing any sort of injury, or want to know more about our specific services, feel free to contact us at Align Health Collective to chat to one of our Podiatrists in Kew, Podiatrists in Oakleigh, Physiotherapists in Kew, or Physiotherapists in Oakleigh. You can book an appointment online with one of our podiatrists at www.alignhc.com.au or call us on (03) 9568 1011 or (03) 9853 7836.