Inflammation, Pain, and Musculoskeletal Health
Inflammation is complicated. But it definitely has a role in musculoskeletal health, pathology, and pain.
Hello, this is Siddharth Tambar from Chicago arthritis and regenerative medicine. On this video today I am talking about a fundamental issue when it comes to your musculoskeletal health and that is inflammation. First and foremost it’s important to understand the difference between acute and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation would be when you’ve sprained an ankle, acutely injured your shoulder or knee, and it feels very inflamed, hot, warm, maybe a little bit swollen as well. That is generally the body’s normal way of trying to recover from an injury. Meaning you have an acute injury, trauma, your body brings in platelets, red blood cells, growth factors to help try to heal that kind of injury. In most circumstances that’s a good process. Occasionally too much acute inflammation can be problematic, but normally that is the normal process of trying to recover from an acute trauma. On the other hand, there’s chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is a problem. And the reason why is because it’s your body’s way of trying to function and recover but is not doing so appropriately, and will actually prevent a normal healing process and normal function. So when it comes to chronic inflammation, it’s important to understand the difference between systemic or total body inflammation, versus local chronic inflammation. So systemic inflammation or total body inflammation is a problem because it can cause a number of issues including inflammation in the joints, damage in the joints, and sort of permanent damage and persistent functional problems. It can also make you more prone to metabolic syndrome as well as cardiovascular disease. Chronic inflammation is on a systemic level is a big problem and leads to a lot of pathology and pain and dysfunction long term. There’s then chronic inflammation at a local level meaning at a one joint, one tendon level. You could see that as persistent inflammation within a knee that is chronically swollen, or a tendon that is chronically strained or inflamed as well. That leads to not only persistent pain, instability, dysfunction, but also damaged in some cases as well. You can have that chronic inflammation if you have a joint or tendon that is chronically unstable or if you have some other process systemically that is causing that inflammation in that joint.
So chronic inflammation is a problem. Ways that you can control that include trying to be as clean and healthy when it comes to an anti-inflammatory diet. That can mean different things to different people, but as a general rule it, to me, at least it means more of a plant-based diet, reduced refined sugars. Each person probably has some degree of susceptibility to inflammation based on their diet and that can vary from person to person. Working with an expert, proper nutritionist can help you in that regard.
There are certain supplements that can also help with chronic inflammation- omega-3 and turmeric have benefit as well that’s been shown to help not only osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis in some cases. And can be as useful as chronic Anti-inflammatory medications as well. In some cases if there’s significant chronic inflammation, medications are necessary to help control those kind of conditions. Those medications work by modulating your immune system to prevent that chronic inflammation. And then lastly in some cases regenerative medicine treatments, orthobiologic treatments, can be helpful as well either because the actual treatment itself has an anti-inflammatory effect or because if you have an instability issue by improving instability, you can reduce the chronic inflammation with that joint as well.
Inflammation has some good parts if it’s acute but is a problem if it’s chronic. It’s something that can be treated and evaluated. It’s important to recognize, it’s important to treat it. And if it’s a component of your pain and inflammation and dysfunction, it’s something that should be checked out. Have a good day. Be well, and bye-bye.
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***About this video***
In this video Siddharth Tambar MD from Chicago Arthritis and Regenerative Medicine discusses inflammation, pain, arthritis, tendinitis, and injuries.