Chronic inflammation may be the “Silent Killer” you are ignoring. No matter what your age or physical condition, inflammation needs to be taken seriously. It can be responsible for aching knees, degenerating joints, and even more serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
Breaking Down Inflammation
The body’s response to an injury caused by an infection, trauma, or biomechanical dysfunction is inflammation. When an inflammation response is triggered, soft tissue relases chemical signaling proteins called cytokines. Cytokines cause dilation of local capillaries, increasing blood flow to the area, and allow leakage of blood plasma into surrounding tissues which results in swelling and pain associated with increased pressure on nerve endings.
Cytokines also aid capillary endothelial cells allow white cells to eliminate damaged tissue and invading pathogens in the area. As the white blood cells help to clear out damaged tissue and foreign micro-organisms, they release substances that cause additional swelling and pain.
Acute inflammation is normal and can sometimes be necessary in the body’s healing process. But chronic inflammation can cause generalized joint and muscle pain. It can also lead to serious health problems such as insulin resistance, degenerative joint disease, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and dementia if left untreated.
Getting Past NSAIDs
Anti-inflammatory drugs can help alleviate pain but can be dangerous if misused. Chronic overuse of NSAIDs can lead to joint cartilage damage and inhibit muscle protein synthesis. NSAIDs also interfere with COX-1, an important enzyme in stomach health. COX-2 inhibitors have been found to quadruple the risk of a heart attack. Be informed of other treatments and the proper use of NSAIDs.