Comprehensive Care Body Injuries and Inflammation
Injuries to the body have certain warning signs and symptoms. If a person steps in a hole and turns their ankle or falls and hurts their shoulder, the body knows it is injured and sends extra cells to the injury site. If a person was to fall and break their wrist, the pain would register instantly, while the inflammation should show up fairly close afterward. Swelling in response to an injury is the standard response of the body. If a person twists their knee, it will swell and make it uncomfortable and quite difficult to bend.
There are several types of swelling. Edema describes fluid or swelling of blood or other fluid outside of the joint capsule. Effusion describes fluid that is actually inside the joint capsule. Hemarthrosis refers to the presence of blood in the effusion within the joint capsule and usually signifies damage to a ligament, like an ACL tear or a fracture.
Acute swelling is swelling that happens within the first 24 hours following an injury. Chronic swelling happens to someone gradually over time. A runner may notice a knee swelling following his workout but it's OK otherwise. This type of inflammation is considered chronic inflammation. The swelling and pain cause the athlete to take time off, protecting the injured body part to an extent from additional injury.
There are 5 classic signs of inflammation that affect the injured body part. The first sign is heat; if the area feels warm it has sustained an injury. Next comes pain, followed by or at the same time as redness, swelling, and a loss of function. For example, if the ankle was injured, loss of function would be an inability to bear weight.
The inflammatory response, when a body part is injured, bruised, or hurt in some way the body responds by doing some amazing engineering to permit vasoactive substances like istamine, bradykinine, prospaglandins, leukotrienes, and nitric oxide to reach the site of injury by passing through the walls of nearby blood vessels during the first phase of the injury. During the second phase, phagocytic cells in the area begin riding the chemotactic current to the site of the injury and begin their task of phagocytic healing and repair. These phagocytic cells are larger than the others and their job is to clean up the site of the injury of damaged cells which will gradually be replaced with healthy new ones. The final phase of an injury’s inflammation is the actual repairing of the tissues. Whether a result of an infection or an injury, the result is the same, the immune system searches for an infection with a flood of white blood cells and phagocytic cells to test for the presence of invading microbes and start healing the area. The extra fluid is present to locate and remove injured cells and to jump-start the healing process. If a person injured themselves or had an infection and the swelling response didn’t happen, the body would not be able to heal any damaged tissues without that inflammatory response.
If you or someone you know has been injured or has an infection with swelling present, relax that is a normal part of the body’s healing. However, it still should be checked out by a licensed medical professional just to be safe.
Treatment options at Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center include:
- Precision Medicine
- Functional and Integrative Medicine
- Frequency-Specific Microcurrent
- Wearable Therapy®
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On behalf of the Natural Balance team, we hope you have found this information helpful and we look forward to working with you.
For a personalized assessment and treatment plan unique to you and your needs, call Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center at (734) 929-2696 or book an appointment online.