In your body, there are several systems that help repair and prevent injuries. One such system, inflammation, works to protect your body by eliminating harmful agents like pathogens, damaged cells, and other irritants. Symptoms of inflammation include joint pain, redness, and sensitivity. When this happens, your body is trying to heal itself. At times, people can mistake inflammation for infection. But, understanding the difference is key. Infection is caused by a virus, fungus, or bacteria while inflammation, on the other hand, is solely the bodily response to infection.
Chronic and Acute Inflammation
Similar to pain, inflammation can be either acute or chronic. The cause of inflammation typically determines its form. Acute inflammation involves severe symptoms that occur very quickly. People may feel discomfort for days to even weeks, at times. Some causes of acute inflammation include:
- Scratches and cuts
- Ingrown nails
- Sore throat
Chronic inflammation is different from acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation can last from a few months to years and can be due to acute inflammation being unable to destroy the root cause of harm, the immune system attacking itself, or a low intensity irritant. Some causes of chronic inflammation include:
- Chronic periodontitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Active hepatitis
Why Inflammation Causes Pain
Inflammation can be painful by causing stiffness, discomfort and pure agony. The pain felt by inflammation can be either a dull, throbbing feeling or a constant pulsating pain. People often experience pain when inflamed, because the swelling and buildup of tissues often press against nerve endings. The brain senses this pain, but as time goes on and the pressure persists, the brain adapts and learns to “ignore” these signals.
Even after inflammation subsides, it’s possible that the pain persists. If you are experiencing chronic pain due to inflammation, our expert providers at Pain Specialty Group would be honored to help diagnose and treat you. Click here to set up an appointment with one of our knowledgeable professionals.