When I was in school to become a Physical Therapist Assistant, we had a clear and present enemy, that enemy was inflammation. We learned manual as well as therapeutic treatments to get rid of this inflammation enemy whether it be in a sprained ankle, an arthritic hand, or in a wound we were treating. Since receiving my diploma and my sparkling new license to practice a few, “ahem”, years ago we have learned an immeasurable amount of information on inflammation virtually changing the scene of almost the entire medical field, including Physical Therapy.
When inflammation is good, it fights off foreign invaders, heals injuries and mops up debris throughout our bodies. Acute inflammation occurs when you have an injury such as when sprain your ankle or get a paper cut. Acute inflammation also occurs when you have a surgery. It is part of the immune system’s box of tricks to spark a defense and promote healing. We are learning ways to promote an acute inflammatory response with therapies such as dry needling, eccentric concentrated exercise, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. Several studies confirm that causing acute spikes in inflammation can heal a once chronic condition.
Chronic, low-level inflammation seems to play a role in a host of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and even depression. And even though the science on inflammation and disease is far from settled, tests and treatments are being promoted that claim to reduce that risk.
The bad: diabetes, heart disease, obesity, stroke, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, auto immune disease, osteoarthritis, pain, bowel issues, Autism, cancer, Schizophrenia, depression. The list of medical conditions that have at least some link to inflammation or a possible link that is currently being explored goes on.
Where we have treated the specific disease historically, the medical field is just now beginning to explore treating globally as inflammation in the body. Some treatments being used to combat chronic inflammation include some medications, diet changes and exercise.
Inflammation is a very vast and complicated subject. We will look deeper into the good and the bad this week. The subject personally fascinates me and I can’t believe what vast discoveries we have made since my college days.
Deborah Haggard, PTA
If you are experiencing any kind of inflammation, contact us for a free consultation. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.