“Inflammation” is a buzzword that has been circulating for some time – but do you know what it actually refers to? Inflammation is actually a natural immune response in your body, but it has become a popular catch-all term for all types of ailments from lower back pain to gut discomfort.
It is important to understand how inflammation works so that you can be aware of common as well as unusual cases of inflammation. Common conditions linked to inflammation include lower back or neck pain, whereas excessive inflammation has been linked to autoimmune diseases or chronic pain and discomfort. When the cause of inflammation symptoms is identified, you can then begin to seek the appropriate treatment.
How inflammation works
Inflammation is a natural process by your body’s immune system, and can take place in many situations. It occurs when your body is ‘attacked’ by viruses or bacteria, or even when you injure a muscle or tissue in the body.
When you sprain, strain, or tear a muscle or tissue, white blood cells enter your tissues to begin the inflammatory response as part of the healing process. In the process, chemicals are released and blood flow to the affected area also increases. This leads to visible signs of inflammation including:
- Redness of the area
- Joint pain or stiffness
We thus experience muscle pain and soreness in the affected region. For example, when we experience whiplash due to a car accident, we might experience neck pain or soreness as the affected muscle heals.
As your body heals, inflammation decreases and symptoms such as pain and soreness should go away. The time taken for this is dependent on the individual, but the well-known RICE protocol can help reduce signs of inflammation and alleviate pain during the healing process. Surgical and non-surgical treatment options (such as chiropractic care) can also help with pain management during and after the healing process.
Causes of chronic inflammation
However in some cases, inflammation does not decrease. This could be due to re-injuring your body while it is healing, or repeatedly injuring the same body part (e.g. sports or repetitive stress injuries). Over time, the affected joint, muscle, or organ can experience a buildup of white blood cells and swelling in their protective membranes – leading to chronic inflammation and pain. Common ailments involving chronic inflammation include:
- Arthritis (Loss of cartilage causing joint inflammation – particularly rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gouty arthritis)
- Muscular pain in the lower back or neck
- Fibromyalgia (Musculoskeletal condition leading to chronic widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue)
- Myocarditis (Inflammation of the heart causing shortness of breath or fluid buildup)
In severe cases or in the case of chronic diseases, medical or surgical treatments are required to reduce inflammation or manage symptoms. For situations involving the musculoskeletal system, chiropractic care is one non-surgical treatment available for pain management. Individuals who suffer from inflammation-linked pain as a result of chronic ailments can also consider chiropractic care as an option for long-term pain management.
Chiropractic treatment options for Inflammation
Our chiropractic clinic in Singapore is able to provide treatment and pain relief options for musculoskeletal conditions such as lower back and neck pain. Our trained chiropractors perform diagnostic assessments including visual posture checks, spinal palpation, and range of motion exams to pinpoint the cause and location of chronic pain within your body.
Once a thorough assessment has been conducted, treatments such as chiropractic spinal manipulation or adjustments will be performed to target specific areas. Other therapies such as shockwave therapy, dry needling, or spinal decompression may be recommended if suitable. Book a consultation with our trained chiropractors in Singapore or to find out how we can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with inflammation.