(The following is the transcript for the video above)
The second type of pain that I would like to talk about is, pain due to inflammation.
Inflammation is a chemical reaction, that usually occurs when there is a damage in our body. Let's say, an ankle sprain. Initially you'll feel the nociceptive pain of mechanical origin, of the ankle being twisted or ligaments being torn.
Then, if the injury is great enough, inflammation will occur. It's a chemical reaction where certain cells in our body release what we call inflammatory mediators.
And these mediators cause two major consequences:
First, it causes the blood vessels to increase in size, and the plasma in the blood goes out of the blood vessels and into the tissue space, which is essentially space between our tissue cells like muscles and fat. The result is swelling.
Secondly, the inflammatory mediators stimulate the nociceptors around the injury site. So you'll end up with that constant, throbbing, achy pain that accompanies most moderate to high level sprains or injuries.
However, this sort of inflammation does not last long. Maybe three to four days in most musculoskeletal injuries. It literally sorts itself out. Right amount of inflammation is helpful to healing as well.
But sometimes, things can go south. I'm not sure if you can have too little an inflammation, but you can definitely have too much. Also, you may have unnecessarily excessive response from your nociceptors resulting in unreasonable amount of pain.
You could also have chronic inflammation, which is quite different again.
The take home message is, acute inflammation in the realms of musculoskeletal pain (so, not like appendicities), usually follows a decent trauma and is self-limiting.
This means that a lot of chronic pain, like fibromyalgia or chronic back or neck pain, has not much to do with acute inflammation and will not respond well to anti-inflammatory drugs.
Of course there are so much more to this, like systemic inflammation, chronic inflammation, and visceral inflammation and they are all quite different. It is really upto the critical eyes of a competent health provider of your choice who can say how much portion of your pain is due to inflammation, and what can be done about it.