The Purpose of Inflammation Following Injury

Injuries, whether they are small or large, can cause inflammation. Inflammation includes swelling, redness, and heat and is a result of the body’s immune system reacting to the injury.  Commonly, injury treatment may be needed to assist the body and aid in recovery. 

This content will help you understand the process of Inflammation, including the reasons behind the body’s inflammatory response. 

How does inflammation occur?

When an injury happens, the damaged cells release chemicals and debris into the bloodstream. These chemicals act as signals to the blood to release components that will create an “initial repair” to the site of injury.

The Inflammation will start with the body increasing the release of leukocytes (a blood component that fights off infection). The leukocytes will travel to the site of injury to trap the damaged cells and any foreign invader that may have entered the wound, such as bacteria. As the leukocytes engulf the debris and bacteria, they release a chemical called pyrogen that kills these foreign materials. This process prevents the bacteria and debris from traveling far from the injured site and causing a widespread infection in the body.

Another response that is activated during an injury is the release of platelets when there is external or internal bleeding. The platelets will travel to the wound to promote blood clotting and avoid excessive bleeding. Additionally, The blood flow within the injured area will increase to maximize the delivery of the blood components responding to the injury.

What are the results of the inflammatory response?

The inflammation process results in noticeable symptoms that the person can feel and see. Let’s take a closer look at these symptoms and how they happen.

Swelling - Swelling happens due to the increase in blood flow in the area. Some fluids from the blood leak outside the arteries and stay within the surrounding tissues causing a swell.

Heat - The inflamed area is warmer when touched. This is because of the increased blood flow and the release of pyrogen by the leukocytes.

Redness - Redness is also visible when an injury occurs. This redness is a result of heat and increased blood flow.

Pain - Every injury causes pain. This pain is the effect of the damage in the free nerve endings as well as the compression of the surrounding nerves due to the swelling.

The importance of Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural response by the body. Its main purpose is to keep the injury to a minimum and remove the injurious agent and damaged tissues to aid the body in the healing process.

Without this process, the person may be at risk of bringing the injuring agent to the vital parts of the body, such as the heart, brain, kidneys, or other parts. When the injury reaches the vital organs, these organs may develop infection and may stop functioning. Injury to these organs can cause fatality.

Another purpose of local Inflammation is to prevent systemic infection. Systemic infection happens when the invading material (bacteria) spreads to the whole bloodstream infecting the body. A systemic infection can cause irreversible organ damage, organ failure, or possible death.

The inflammation process is vital in keeping the injury contained and eases the body’s natural healing capacity. Anything that happens beyond the usual presentation of Inflammation should be reported to the doctor.

If you are experiencing inflammation in joints or soft tissue, our healthcare team has the ability to treat and help you along with recovery.  Treatment of inflammation is commonly treated in our office and we are ready to help.  Call our office to schedule an appointment.





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