What is the role of inflammation in the body’s natural healing process?
The inflammatory response:
- Prevents the spread of damaging agents to
- Disposes of cell debris and pathogens and
- Sets the stage for the repair process.
“Inflammation is one of the most important mechanisms of host defense since it marshals the attack on the injurious agent and leads to repair of the affected tissue”
The role of inflammation in the process of healing has been misunderstood for many years. Recent neurological and immunological research has shed light on its importance in the human healing process. A clear shift in science is taking inflammation away from being the enemy of health and a condition to be suppressed and or eliminated to one in which its importance and role is allowed to proceed.
Although at first, edema may seem to be detrimental to the body, it isn’t. The entry of protein-rich fluids into the tissue spaces.
- Helps to dilute harmful substances, which may
- Brings in large quantities of oxygen and
nutrients necessary for the repair process.
- Allows the entry of clotting proteins which form
a gel like fibrin mesh in the tissue space that
effectively isolates the injured area and prevents
the spread of bacteria and other harmful agents
into the adjacent tissues. Its also forms a
scaffolding for permanent repair.
When faced with a muscle or joint injury, don’t jump right to icing the injured area. Remember that inflammation is your body’s first line of defense. The reason for icing is to decrease swelling…instead try gentle stretches or massage to increase circulation…and for muscle pain you can even try heat as a natural muscle relaxant.