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Inflammation and Chronic Pain

By Jeffery Roy, RPA-C

Chronic pain is often referred to as the “invisible disability,” and is a common condition. Chronic pain almost always has an underlying component of inflammation, which generally occurs when there is an infection or an injury to part of the body. Common symptoms of inflammation include heat, pain, redness, and swelling, and can last up to a few days in an acute situation, or for several months or even years when a situation becomes chronic.

Inflammation, which is a very complex process, can be caused by numerous things including physical injury, emotional stress, infection, and toxin exposure. In most cases, it is a combination of these factors that cause chronic pain. When your body perceives injury, it starts a cascade of chemicals that are designed to help the body heal. This is beneficial when you have an acute injury, but if this cascade persists too long, it can develop into chronic pain.

At times, this inflammation is located around the nerve fibers. This process then causes the body’s defense system to try to defend and repair the nerves. This process can damage the nerve fibers further. Unfortunately, the traditional treatment for this type of inflammation is not overly beneficial. The use of NSAIDs has been shown to help with acute inflammation but is less effective in treating chronic inflammation. Fortunately, in addition to diet and lifestyle changes, there are several nutraceuticals that have been shown to be beneficial in either reducing this inflammation or in helping the body to repair and heal itself.

The treatment of chronic pain is very individualized. By getting a good history, we are able to make recommendations and tailor a treatment plan to address your underlying conditions to help reduce your inflammation. If you would like to explore more natural solutions to chronic pain, please contact IM of CNY at 315-741-5774.

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