Inflammation is a big buzzword nowadays. It’s commonly thought to be the underlying cause of many ailments. But what is inflammation and how can we treat it?
Inflammation is your body’s way of fighting against things that harm it, such as injuries, infections, and toxins. When something damages your body, it releases chemicals that trigger a response from your immune system. Your immune system responds by releasing antibodies and proteins and increasing blood flow to the damaged area. In the case of acute inflammation, this will usually last a few hours to a few days.
Chronic inflammation happens when this response stays around for a period longer than a few days. This leaves your body in a constant state of alert. Over time, chronic inflammation may have a negative impact.
For acute inflammation, your doctor may prescribe treatments like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs will not remove the cause of inflammation, but they can help relieve pain, swelling. Corticosteroids may be prescribed to treat more chronic inflammation.
Ice is always a go-to for me with acute inflammation. Sometimes your injury is too deep for ice to make a difference, but frequently it helps to reduce inflammation and reduce pain.
Something I’m looking forward to trying out for chronic inflammation is turmeric. I try to avoid NSAIDs as much as possible these days, my stomach has never been able to tolerate them for long. Herbs like turmeric have been shown to help with chronic inflammation as well as things like arthritis and joint pain.
There are many ways to treat inflammation from home remedies to prescription medication. My recommendation is to base your treatment on severity and length. If you find yourself with moderate to severe inflammation, or inflammation that just wont go away, it’s always best to consult your doctor.
LMT, Pilates Instructor
and Founder of Inertia6
Rachael has a passion for movement and her athletic training and experience give her body-awareness and insight.