You have a headache, fever, are experiencing chills, and have joint pain. These are only a few of the symptoms present that may be associated with inflammation. Experiencing signs and symptoms of inflammation is discomforting, but what can you do about getting rid of inflammation? Symptoms of inflammation often include redness, swollen joints, joint stiffness where the affected area of the body is warm to the touch, fever, headache, chills, loss of appetite and many more. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is likely time to do something about! Follow these suggestions to find the best ways to do so.
1. Seek medical attention.
If you experience any symptoms of inflammation, it is best to schedule an appointment to see your doctor to receive the proper treatment for the cause of your inflammation. The doctor will be able to set a treatment plan to help correct, control, maintain, and relieve the symptoms of inflammation that you are experiencing.
2. Get some medication.
Consult with your doctor before taking any medication to help alleviate your symptoms. You can take over-the-counter medication such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin to help manage the pain, fever, and headache that you may be experiencing. However, it will not decrease symptoms experienced at the physical site of inflammation.
If you are placed on medication, make sure you check back with the doctor within a determined amount of time so that they can keep track of your condition and monitor for any side effects that may occur.
3. Try hot or cold therapy.
To decrease the symptoms of inflammation and swelling, try applying a cold compress to the area to slow down blood circulation by the constriction of blood vessels. This will help alleviate some of the pain and decrease the heat felt on the affected area. Cold therapy is effective in reducing pain as it numbs the nerve endings which results in less pain messages being sent to your brain.
Cold treatment should be applied to the inflamed area for no longer then 10 minutes on followed by 10 minutes off. It is most effective to use cold therapy immediately after an injury to decrease inflammation.
If you experience stiffness in the joints, do not use cold therapy, but instead opt for hot therapy. Not only does hot therapy increase the range in motion of your stiff joints, it also helps relax and soothe sore muscles. Hot therapy will increase blood flow by expanding blood vessels. This allows the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the site of injury.
Do not use hot therapy if your inflammation site is already warm to the touch, as this can cause an increase of blood flow and increase the feeling of discomfort.
To speed up the process of recovery, try alternating between hot and cold therapy for pain relief from muscle tears. The expanding and constricting of your blood vessels acts like a pump to help promote blood circulation to the site of inflammation. This helps to speed up the recovery process.
If you do choose hot and/or cold therapy, it is recommended by professionals to use frozen peas or other vegetables instead of gel packs or ice as these frozen vegetables will conform to the area of inflammation better. Gel packs are getting better and better on the market these days, however.
It is best to keep both sources of hot and cold therapy on hand to make it readily available when or if inflammation arises.
4. Elevate the area.
Elevate the area of inflammation to decrease the flow of blood to the area. This will decrease the swelling and heat felt on the inflamed area as the blood will not be able to bring as much white blood cells to the affected area.
Do not hold this position for extended periods of time, because as mentioned in the hot and/or cold therapy option above, blood flow is to the inflamed area is important!
5. Rest up.
Decreasing the stress of the area that is inflamed will speed up the recovery process. If you injured your foot, it is best to not use that foot as often. Instead, speak to your doctor or inquire about getting crutches to help with distributing the weight off of your injured foot for the time being until your foot has had some time to recover.
Seek a moderate to low exercise routine to help ease the tension of stiff joints. Before you start your exercise routine, try using hot therapy to loosen up muscles and increase joint elasticity. This helps to improves your mobility. Do not apply heat therapy immediately after your exercise routine.
Speak to your doctor about physiotherapy and using this might apply to your particular situation. If it is a muscle injury to a particular part of the body, you may want to slowly ease back into a comfortable exercise routine to help strengthen the muscle and encourage blood circulation to the injured area.
7. Look at surgery as an option.
If the underlying cause of your inflammation is serious enough to require surgery in order to get rid of inflammation, consult with a licensed doctor regarding this procedure. It may be one of the only options available to you if all of the other non-invasive options have not helped with your inflammation and the underlying cause of your inflammation.
So, what exactly is inflammation anyhow? Inflammation happens when your body’s white blood cells are produced and released into the blood or affected tissue to protect your body from infections triggered by bacteria or viruses. Along with the release of these chemicals is the increase of blood flow so that the white blood cells can flow to the affected area causing redness and warmth.
Swelling occurs when these chemicals are released as it causes fluid to leak into the tissues and may cause pain in the process, thus further irritating the surrounding area.
The feeling of pressure from the swelling and the pain associated with inflammation is not one that can be dismissed lightly. When your body is not performing at its optimal level, it can cause discomfort and affect your everyday life. Visit your doctor for guidance and medical advice on how you should manage as well as get rid of the inflammation. You may discuss all of the options mentioned within this article and decide which is best for you.
*Disclaimer: If you experience any symptoms of inflammation, seek medical advice and help immediately from your licensed doctor or professional to discuss a proper treatment plan that works for your particular situation.