Have you ever been told such and such is inflammed? Ever hear, once the inflammation calms down, it will feel better? Of course...ever wonder what exactly is inflammation? Wonder no more.
Inflammation is your bodies self defense mechanism after some type of injury. It usually accompanies swelling, which allows many different cells to come to the area for "clean up" and repair of the damaged tissue. With injury the following are released in your body: prostaglandins, serotonin, protons, bradykinin, leukotrines, amines, nerve growth factor and cytokines. These are all very specific and only activate pain receptors in your body. A key fact here is that inflammation lowers your threshold for pain receptors and increases it's firing rate. This means that things that used to not cause you pain, will now cause you pain!
So now you can see that there is a chemical component to pain. Thats why diet and supplementation when an acute injury occurs is so important. In the next post we will get a little more specific on the cycle of the inflammatory soup and what diet/supplements we can use to combat this.