Once the body is injured, there is a sequence of events that is started that leads to the repair of the site of injury. The initial stage in this process is known as inflammation which is followed by tissue healing and repair. As a bodily response, it is important that you know how to ease the discomfort experienced by the individual. To learn to recognize and manage injuries and conditions involving inflammation, register for first aid training with a credible provider near you.
The inflammatory response is the natural reaction of the body that occurs right after tissue damage. It is responsible for defending the body against harmful substances as well as removal of dead or dying tissue and promoting the renewal of normal tissue.
Signs of inflammation
It is important to note that that inflammatory reaction is typically characterized by 5 distinctive signs where each is due to a physiological response to tissue injury.
- Edema or swelling
- Heat or warmth
- Loss of function
If any of these are present, it simply indicates that a particular body part is swollen or inflamed due to trauma or injury.
Stages of inflammatory reaction
The inflammatory reaction is a combination of various overlapping reactions inside the body. Even though a lot of these occur simultaneously, there is a certain order of events that can be observed.
- Tissue injury can occur due to trauma such as collision, tackle or from an awkward fall. Nevertheless, the common tissue injury occurs as a result of overuse.
- Release of chemicals occurs when the tissue cells are damaged. The chemicals that trigger the inflammatory response include prostaglandins, kinins and histamine. These chemicals work in a collective manner to instigate increased vasodilation and permeability of the capillaries. This leads to increased blood flow to the injured site. These substances function as chemical messengers that attract some of the natural defense cells which is a mechanism called as chemotaxis. Even though beneficial, some of the chemicals can increase the sensitivity of the pain fibers in the area, thus resulting to pain.
- Leukocyte migration to the damaged area is due to chemotaxis. There are two types of leukocyte that are predominant during the inflammatory response – neutrophils and macrophages. The macrophages help with the healing process by engulfing dead cells and bacteria so that the area is clear for the new cells to grow. As for the neutrophils, they are the first to arrive in the injury site and neutralize the harmful bacteria. They arrive at the site of injury within 72 hours and stay in the area up to weeks after the injury.
As a bodily reaction, inflammation can go away on its own. On the other hand, you can readily provide measures in order to minimize the discomfort it causes.