Inflammation is the body’s way of guarding against pathogens and injuries. It is a natural process that also helps with healing. Inflammation can occur acutely, or it can become chronic.
Inflammation can be damaging, especially if it occurs long-term. It can also cause pain and even contribute to several other conditions. Learning the causes and ways to deal with it can significantly decrease discomfort.
Acute inflammation occurs due to a sudden injury or infection. For instance, when you get a cut, the skin around the wound typically gets red and swollen. That reaction is part of the inflammatory response.
Chronic inflammation is different. This type occurs when the inflammatory response by the immune system lingers. When inflammation becomes long-term, it can have an adverse effect on the body and is thought to play a role in various diseases.
Typically, chronic inflammation can develop due to autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, untreated infections, and exposure to toxic substances. There are other factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing it, including:
Whether you have acute inflammation from a pulled muscle or arthritis from chronic inflammation, it can cause pain. In fact, the discomfort can affect your ability to be active.
Although anti-inflammatory drugs may be helpful in some cases, they can have side effects. But there are ways you can reduce inflammation and the pain associated with it without taking medications. Consider the following tips:
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root of the turmeric plant and contains curcumin. Curcumin may have an anti-inflammatory effect. It is thought that curcumin blocks NF-kB, which is a molecule that turns on genes associated with inflammation.
Research published in the journal Medicinal Food analyzed eight studies on how turmeric can decrease pain associated with inflammation in people with arthritis. The studies indicated that people that took curcumin reported reduced pain compared to people in the placebo group.
Although there is no one specific type of diet to reduce inflammation, avoiding certain foods and eating others may help. According to Harvard Medical School, foods that may increase inflammation in the body include red meat, fried foods, and refined carbs, such as white rice, bread, and cookies.
Eating other types of foods may also have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Consider adding some of the following foods into your diet:
Pain due to inflammation is sometimes widespread. An excellent way to decrease the discomfort associated with inflammation is by soaking in a tub filled with warm water and a pain-relieving bath bomb. Use a bath bomb with ingredients that have a soothing effect, such as arnica, peppermint oil, Epsom salt, and turmeric. Fill the tub with warm water, add the bath bomb, and relax for about 15 minutes.
Regular exercise is good for your heart and lungs, but did you know it may also have an anti-inflammatory effect? Several studies show that exercise may decrease it. For example, one study published in Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise found that people that exercised had lower levels of inflammation than those that were sedentary.
It is also thought that exercise does not have to be intense for it to have some anti-inflammatory effect. Some studies showed that even twenty minutes to half an hour of moderate exercise may be enough to reduce inflammation in the body. But if you have joint pain from inflammation, talk to your doctor to determine if there are certain activities you should avoid.
Topical pain-relieving lotion may reduce pain and stiffness associated with inflammation. Lotions are also an alternative to over-the-counter pain relievers, which may have side effects, such as stomach upset. Topical pain-relieving lotions often work by blocking the nerve endings on the skin, which helps decrease pain. Look for ingredients, such as menthol, arnica, and magnesium oil.
We know that sleep deprivation can lead to a host of problems, such as fatigue, weight gain, and memory problems. But if you are not getting enough shuteye, it may also promote the production of substances that increase inflammation.
A meta-analysis published in Biological Psychiatry found that people that had sleep disturbances, including lack of sleep, had increased markers for inflammation. Plus, when you do not get enough rest, it may also affect your stress level. Increased stress can also contribute to inflammation, and in turn, pain. Although everyone’s sleep needs may be a little different, most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
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