- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Inflammation - A Pysiological response to injury
This is the immediate reaction to injury and the first phase in the healing process, Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRR) are cells within the skin that initiate the inflammatory response, Inflammation is a result of blood vessels losing their normal ability to retain fluids and cells. The initial response is dilation of the blood vessels (Vasodilation), of the local area. This allows an increased delivery of blood to the area and the substances it transports will help to initiate and speed up the recovery process. An increased supply can speed up the transport of any injury bi-products, white bloods cells are transported to the site of injury to fight off any infection and due to the physiological response to injury, enjoy greater permeability to the site of injury. The tissue becomes ‘Vascularised’, without inflammation the wound or injury would never heal. Vasodilation shortly turns to Vasoconstriction to try prevent excessive swelling but this can be manipulated by methods of applying heat or extreme cold accordingly, applying heat will induce Vasodilation, whereas applying extreme coldness to the area will encourage Vasoconstriction.
Inflammation as an immediate response to injury is known as ‘acute inflammation’, however prolonged inflammation becomes ‘Chronic inflammation’ and this can lead to such health complications as hay fever, periodontitis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer (e.g., gallbladder carcinoma).
Signs of acute inflammation;
P – Pain (Stimulated nerve endings)
R – Redness (Due to increased blood flow)
I – Immobility/Loss of function
S – Swelling (Accumulation of fluid)
H – Heat (Another result of the increased blood flow)