One subject I’ll research and written a great deal about is inflammation the body.
Inflammation is how our body responds to any harmful stimuli. Be it a bump on your head, clogged sinuses from a cold, redness around a splinter, allergies, or even stress; all of these cause inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s way of healing and warding off illnesses, repairing wounds, healing aching joints, repairing damaged muscle cells and much more. Without inflammation, wounds would never heal, a common cold would never go away and we would ultimately die. While inflammation is critical to healing and keeps us out of plastic bubbles, conversely, it can often go awry and do more harm than good. Occasionally our bodies’ inflammatory response can be a gross over-reaction to harmless substances, such examples are common allergies, food allergies, celiac disease and others. These are well-intended processes gone wrong as the body misinterprets the intruder and essentially brings a gun to a knife fight; these are allergies. At a high-school wrestling match years ago I witnessed the father of one of the wrestlers run from the stands onto the mat and violently pry the opponent off of his son as they wrestled. He wrongly thought his son was being asphyxiated, he was not; rather; the father had an excessive inflammatory response and an allergic reaction to the wrestling match. Sometimes your body does the same thing. Inflammation is also solely responsible for muscle growth and adaptation to exercise.
With that said, the most in-your-face form of inflammation is joint pain. As lifters, we often get achy elbows, wrists, knees and more that never seem to go away. This is the result, usually, of a very minor injury to the joint that became inflamed, and once inflamed, the inflammation has a tendency to hang around long after the damage is repaired.
So why won’t it heal? The acute inflammation in your joint needs to be viewed as a pilot light on a gas stove. Aggravating a joint essentially lights an inflammation fire in a joint. Once it is 100% healed, the fire is extinguished. However, even if the joint is 95% healed, a small amount of inflammation remains and this inflammation acts as a pilot light for more inflammation. Irritate the joint just a little bit, am boom…another big blaze of fiery inflammation. We need to get this pilot light out..and the way to do this is by not aggravating the injury….This is not to say to not workout at all. Instead, it is saying that you must avoid movements (or weights) that cause pain and exacerbate the injury. Once the inflammation is gone, you are good to go.
So what else can you do to remove inflammation? While there are dozens, below are a few choice supplements that are proven to reduce inflammation I recommend and can help speed up extinguishing the fire:
Fish Oil – Proven in numerous studies . Tried and true, 100% should be in everyones regimin
Astaxanthin – A newly popular inexpensive nutrient with powerful anti-inflammatory responses
MSM –this is an organic sulfur that has the ability to remove wastes from cells. You can take A LOT of this one too.
Turmeric – Another powerhouse with proven benefits to extinguish inflammation