Musculoskeletal Pain : Inflammation

All healing in the body begins with the much underappreciated and often misunderstood inflammatory response. Abundantly clear following injury or infection, the inflammatory response is experienced as pain, redness, swelling, and heat. Though typically a source of discomfort, it is prudent to understand that the inflammatory response is a healing response, which ultimately serves to fight off infections, defeat cancerous cells, or heal injured tissues. Inflammation should be managed and not completely impaired, which can occur with the overuse of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). In general, most injured tissues will heal completely within a matter of six weeks if managed properly. However, certain dietary, lifestyle, and environmental factors can create a metabolic response that fuels inflammation and prevents the healing of injured tissue, or worse, leads to chronic systemic low-grade inflammation, also known as “silent” inflammation. Systemic “silent” inflammation causes no immediate outward signs, like redness, warmth, and swelling, but is present nonetheless and evidenced as increased levels of hsCRP in the blood. Systemic inflammation is now known to be a miscommunication within the neuroimmune system, which is why it can cause widespread effects on multiple systems of the body and manifest in so many ways including chronic pain, degenerative diseases, and cancers. Knowledge of how to manage the metabolic factors of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress is essential, as alterations in diet, activity, and stress have proven beneficial, in addition to specific herbal and nutritional protocols believed to target the underlying metabolic factors of systemic inflammation.*

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