Inflammation is defined as “a localized protective response elicited by injury or destruction of tissues which serves to destroy, dilute or wall off the injurious agent and the injured tissues. The inflammatory response can be provoked by physical, chemical and biological agents including mechanical trauma as well as psychological trauma.”
All types of physical pain have an inflammatory component because inflammation is the first phase of the healing process….But it only happens when the body gets damaged and needs to repair.
- Physical Stress is the first and most common cause of inflammation.
Physical stress occurs where friction and excessive motion is creating damage to the tissues (whether it is bones, muscles, ligaments or tendons).
- Inflammation is ultimately then creating fluid pressure around nerves and creating pain signals to the brain, which causes pain.
- The second cause of inflammation is emotional stress.
- A hormonal response to psychological stress. That hormonal response releases a chemical called cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Cortisol ultimately increases the inflammation throughout the body.
- With emotional stress comes increased sensitivity to damage. The body becomes inflamed more aggressively as a result of emotional stress.
- The third cause of inflammation is lack of sleep.
- Sleep has a large impact on cortisol levels. Sleep patterns affect how the body responds to damage and ultimately how much inflammation there can be.
- The fourth cause of inflammation is poor nutrition.
- Foods consumed can either decrease or increase the inflammation in the body.
- Foods that increase the inflammation are flours and sugars.
- Avoid any foods of which you may have sensitivity or allergy.
- Eating a very colorful diet – reds, oranges, purples, dark greens – are rich in antioxidants which dampen the inflammatory effect.
- Lean protein is very effective in reducing inflammation. Red meat with lots of fat promotes inflammation.
- Olive oil is a great source of oleic acid making it a powerful anti-inflammatory.
- Pasture-fed livestock, flax, chia and hemp seeds, wild salmon (not farmed) or smaller cold water fish such as herring, sardines and mackerels. Lean protein is very effective in reducing inflammation.
Regardless of the type of pain, it is important to understand that inflammation is the source of what you are feeling.
It is important to identify that the normal treatments out there right now are basically altering the inflammatory response (by things such as cortisone injections, oral steroids, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or any NSAIDs). These are things that alter the body’s inflammation response, but ultimately do not get to the root of the problem.
Don’t just alter the problem. Find a permanent solution. Fix the problem by addressing the four main factors that cause inflammation in the body (physical stress, emotional stress, lack of sleep and poor nutrition)