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What is Inflammation - Explained Simply

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a normal response after suffering an injury. The body causes the inflammation as it removes the damaged tissues and begins to form a blood supply to flow towards the injured area and support the repair of the body. Inflammations can last from a span of 10 minutes to several and it is depending on the type of injury; the amount of tissue that was damaged.

There are several cardinal signs of inflammation:

- Redness

- Heat

- Swelling

- Pain

- Disturbance of function

If you want to sound cool, you can use the phrases rubor (redness), calor (heat), tumor (swelling), dolor (pain), functio laesa (disturbance of function).


Stages of Healing

There are 3 stages to healing of the injury, you might have come across different names to the stages, to make it simple, you can simply remember it as stage 1, 2 and 3.

1. Stage 1 (Acute)

- This is the stage immediately following the injury. Proliferation and regeneration occur whereby the scar is forming while the injured tissue is repairing. Many of the cardinal signs resulted from the inflammatory response will start to subside. However, the injured area will still be tender, meaning it will hurt when you touch. Pain might also be present with certain movements.

2. Stage 2 (Repair)

- At this stage, the wound’s tensile strength starts to increase. But, the rate of increase is proportionally based on the rate of the collagen synthesis. Collagen is basically a structural protein that holds the connective tissues. Therefore, your diet will affect the healing speed of the injury.

3. Stage 3 (Maturation)

- The last stage can also be known as the remodelling stage. Basically. It is the realignment of the fibres that form the scar tissue. It is dependent on the strength of the tensile that started in stage 2.

- Based on Wolff’s law*, physical demands do affect reparation of the bone and soft tissues in a good way, such that they adapt to the physical demands that are placed on it. Therefore, physical recovery training is useful, but just make sure not to overdo it.

*developed by Julius Wolff, a German Anatomist and surgeon, during the 19th century

However, the injury recovery speed will be also affected due to various factors such as the

- Extent of injury

- Oedema

- Haemorrhage

- Poor blood supply

- Separation of tissues

- Infection

- Health

- Age

- Nutrition

Hence, the same injury for different people will have a different recovery speed.

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