Understanding Inflammation

Our body is susceptible to various injuries and infections. Inflammation is a body's response and the first line of defense against these foreign bodies.

What is Inflammation

Pain, swelling and tenderness are the characteristics of inflammation caused by arthritis. Many people also exhibit warmth and stiffness in their joints due to inflammation thereby limiting their activities and increasing their dependence on others.

Diseases in which the immune system causes damage to its own tissue are called inflammatory diseases and Arthritis is one such inflammatory disease.

Types of Inflammation

Inflammation can happen to anyone and sometimes we are not even aware of it. It can be classified into two different types:

  • Acute inflammation
    Acute inflammation happens for a short duration. It might or might not be severe and often resolves by itself. This type of inflammation usually occurs when your body is healing from an illness or an injury.
  • Chronic inflammation
    Chronic inflammation is the result of autoimmune disorders and sometimes even prolonged stress.

Signs and Symptoms of Inflammation

Inflammation causes redness, pain, warmth and swelling around the tissues in response to an injury- like a cut or inflammation- due to cold or flu. Common symptoms also include:

  • Fever
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Loss of joint function
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid body temperature changes

Causes of Inflammation

A multitude of things can cause your body to produce inflammation as a response. Some of the most common causes can be injury and tissue damage, consuming unhealthy fats, sugars, refined foods, stress and other unhealthy life choices.

Illnesses that cause inflammation particularly in the hands, legs, feet, knees and hips are Osteoarthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis and Gout.

How to manage and reduce Inflammation

Early diagnosis and treatment are effective in reducing inflammation. Inflammation is typically treated with steroids. However, safer and natural alternatives are also available for treating inflammation.