What Is Inflammation in the Body and How Does It Affect Pain?

Inflammation in the body refers to a defense reaction to attacks on the body. The body reacts to injury, viruses, and bacteria by manning an offense to repair. Inflammation is a result of the soldiers bringing healing cells to the site.

I have chronic pain, and have seen over and over again that pain is associated with inflammation.  But what is inflammation?  And how does it cause pain? And if it does, what can I do about it?  Will that mean I will have less pain?  Read further to answer these questions.  

What Is Inflammation?

This word makes it sound like something is on fire.  Which actually is not the case when it comes to our body.  An inflammation in the body is caused by white blood cells fighting a virus or bacteria.  It can also be a response to an injury.  So this is actually a good thing.  Because you want your body to fight viruses, bacteria and heal from an injury.

The above is often referred to as acute inflammation.  It is the body arming itself to fight the invaders that shouldn’t be there.  This condition usually resolves in hours or days, once the body has conquered the invaders.  Isn’t that amazing?

This is a video that explains this process better than I possibly could. 

But it can also result in a swollen, red, hot and often painful area of the body.  This is not worrisome unless the redness spreads and continues to be painful.  If that is the case, you should seek medical attention.  An infection may have occurred and should be treated.  Don’t ignore this condition.  It is your body giving you a message.  

But What Is Chronic Inflammation?

But what about if you have no virus or bacteria as far as you know?  And you didn’t injure yourself?  Well, inflammation can still occur.  How is that possible?  Apparently the body can send the same message to arm your system to fight an invader.  The problem is, there is no invader.  

Current research states that there may be some reasons for this happening.  Autoimmune diseases like lupus can trigger inflammation.  Exposure to toxins may be a culprit.  Or an injury that doesn’t heal would be another reason. But in some cases, we don’t know what causes inflammation.

A well known chronic form of inflammation is rheumatoid arthritis. Well known, but not desirable!  And it is a disease that is an inflammation of the body.  In this case, not good inflammation.

One research article stated that all pain was caused by inflammation and the inflammatory response.  I wonder if most physicians believe this?  Read the article here.  The Biochemical Origin of Pain: The origin of all Pain is Inflammation and the Inflammatory Response. PART 2 of 3 –Inflammatory Profile of Pain Syndromes

Why Is There Pain Associated With Inflammation?

Pain results because the soldiers “fighting” the suspected infection bring added supplies to the area.  All those wonderful white blood cells bring all sorts of cells to ward off the invaders.  These cells are added to the area. This causes swelling.  The swelling can then push tissue and nerves, thus triggering pain.  

Apparently in a situation like rheumatoid arthritis, the body keeps trying to fight the enemy when there really isn’t an enemy, and ends up causing inflammation.  This leads to pain.  

What Is Inflammation In the Body and How Does It Affect Pain?

What Can You Do About Chronic Inflammation?

First you should consult with your doctor.  If you have access to a pain specialist, all the better.  Find out what is causing your pain.  Is it actually inflammation?  If so, what do they recommend?  Follow your doctor’s advice.  Especially since you want to regulate bad inflammation but still need good inflammation.  

I don’t claim to be a medical professional.  But I do know pain, and I do know what helps relieve my pain.  My chronic pain isn’t caused by inflammation, but I do have secondary arthritis.  Following I will list some remedies which may give you some momentary relief.  And they are natural.  

Try one or a few of these.

  • Adjust your diet.  Refined sugar and fatty foods have been linked to promoting inflammation.  Cut back on those if you can.  I am a sugar addict, so I know that is hard.  However, I don’t miss fatty foods.  
  • Add these to your diet; fish, leafy greens, pears, bell peppers, black tea and olive oil.  I’m going to make a salmon filet and a green salad.  Yum!
  • Spices like turmeric, chili pepper and black pepper may help.  Do some research before you add these to your diet.  Even though they are natural, you may experience side effects like stomach issues.  
  • Seek to manage your stress.  Inflammation flare ups can be a result of stress.  Do what works for you.  I do a bit of yoga or relax with a puzzle.  What helps you manage stress?
  • Don’t use alcohol.  Although red wine seems to have some health benefits.  But don’t start drinking wine just to manage your pain.  Red wine has resveratrol, which you can get in a supplement if you want to try that.  
  • Get some exercise, and try to maintain a healthy weight.  
  • Ginger is a great natural treatment for inflammation. I wrote a whole article about it. Can Ginger Be Used To Treat Chronic Pain?

Can you do just one of these recommendations to feel better.  Our health is our responsibility when it comes down to it.  We can’t expect someone else to take care of us if we aren’t willing to take care of ourselves.  

What is Inflammation in the Body and How Does It Affect Pain?

Will I Feel Better?

One or two of these recommendations might help you feel better.  Don’t expect changes overnight. But dedicate yourself to trying them.  These recommendations don’t cost much if anything.  So what have you got to lose?  Hopefully some pain!


Have you tried something to manage your pain?  Did you try something I suggested?  I  would love to hear about what you have tried.  I would also be willing to answer any questions you may have regarding this topic.  Leave a comment!

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