For many years, the role of inflammation in the healing process has been misunderstood. Its role in the human healing process has been highlighted by recent neurological and immunological research. Inflammation has shifted from being the enemy of health and a condition to be repressed and possibly removed, thanks to a clear movement in research, to one in which its value and role are allowed to continue.

Tissue Response to Injury: Inflammation

When biological tissues are harmed in any way, the inflammatory response is started as a natural defense mechanism. The majority of the body’s defensive elements are found in the blood, and inflammation is how body defense cells and chemicals leave the blood and infiltrate the tissue around a wounded or infected place. Inflammation is triggered by physical stress, extreme heat, irritating chemicals, as well as viral and bacterial infection.

The Inflammatory Response:

  • stops harmful chemicals from spreading to neighboring tissues;

  • removes cell debris and infections; and

  • prepares the body for healing.

Redness, heat, swelling, and pain are the four cardinal indicators of inflammation. The fifth cardinal indication of inflammation, according to many specialists, is impairment of function.

  • Chemical “alarms,” a sequence of inflammatory compounds released in the extracellular fluid, start the inflammatory process. Inflammatory mediators are produced by injured tissue cells.

Despite the fact that several of these mediators have individual inflammatory functions, they all stimulate dilatation of the tiny blood vessels in the area of the injury.

The redness and heat of the inflamed area are caused by local hyperemia (blood congestion) as more blood flows into the area.

The permeability of local capillaries is also increased by these substances. As a result, exudate, a fluid comprising proteins including clotting factors and antibodies, seeps into the tissue gaps from the bloodstream.

This effusion causes local edema or swelling, which presses on nearby nerve terminals, contributing to a pain sensation.

The release of bacterial toxins, a lack of nutrients to the cells in the area, and the sensitizing effects of secreted prostaglandins and kinins are all factors that contribute to pain. Normal movement may be restricted momentarily if the swollen and painful location involves a joint to allow for adequate healing and restoration.

Although edema may appear to be harmful to the body at first, it is not. Protein-rich fluids are able to enter the tissue gaps which

  • Aids in the diluting of potentially dangerous chemicals.

  • Delivers significant amounts of oxygen and nutrients to aid in the healing process.

  • Allows clotting proteins to enter the tissue space, forming a gel-like fibrin mesh that effectively isolates the damaged location and prevents the passage of germs and other hazardous agents into the surrounding tissues. It also serves as a permanent repair scaffolding.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy: Why Being Active Helps With COVID-19