DEEP RELIEF: Signs of inflammation and how to treat it
Although pain and inflammation can be most prevalent amongst athletes who often experience it due to injury when training or participation in sport, it is rather common and there is a good chance that most of us have experienced it even during the course of a ‘normal’ life that involves standard exertion or movement.
Part of the complex biological response of the body tissue to harmful stimuli (such as pathogens, damaged cell or irritants), inflammation is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels and molecular mediators. In laymen’s terms – it is the body’s response to injury or damage to body tissue. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out dead and damaged tissue and cells and begin the healing process and tissue repair.
Signs of inflammation
After injury to tissue has occurred, the body’s inflammation reaction is triggered. Swelling, redness and an increase in local temperature will be the first thing you notice. The swelling is due to vasodilation and the increased level of fluids being delivered to the area of injury in order to help remove any pathogens or dead tissue at the site of injury. Redness is also a sign that there is increased blood flow to the affected area – important for more oxygen to reach the injured site and for healing to start. The increase of temperature is due to all the underlying activity taking place and is a natural way for the body to fend off infection.
When it comes to treating inflammation, there are several available options that are often dependent on the type, scope and location of the injury.
In general, the first step is to rest the affected area. Our bodies are amazing machines and it is wise to allow the body to start its own healing process for about 12 hours as it knows how to heal itself. However, inflammation can intensify and it is then that intervention is needed.
Resting the area of pain and inflammation allows the body time to reset and fight the inflammation. Further, the use of ice and other cooling treatments will help decrease the swelling and numb the pain. Elevation of the injured site will also decrease the swelling and aid lymph flow away from the injured area.
Pain can be treated with non-steroidal pain killers, ice and cryotherapy. The increased temperature will also decrease with cold therapy that, in turn, will cause vasoconstriction that helps to decrease swelling. Compression, where applicable, can also be used to both decrease the swelling and stabilize the affected area. Anti-inflammatory drugs will also help but be mindful of potential contra-indications or side effects associated with oral medication.
Topical products, such as Deep Relief, are applied directly to the affected area without going through one’s digestive system. Deep Relief, an anti-inflammatory gel, contains both menthol (helps to bring about the desired cooling effect) and ibuprofen (a strong and effective anti-inflammatory) and is a proven and effective solution for the treatment of pain and inflammation.
Article written by EPT – The Ultimate Sports Recovery Experts