Inflammation: Friend or Foe

//Inflammation: Friend or Foe

Inflammation: Friend or Foe


Inflammation is the body’s automatic response to start repairing what’s damaged. If we did not have the inflammatory process, our body would have a hard time repairing itself. When there is swelling, deoxiginated blood and waste product are being pooled. These waste products have to be cleared from the area. In my last post, I discussed how the lymphatic system plays a major role in removing waste and deoxiginated blood.

As soon as inflammation occurs, it can be very uncomfortable due to pressure build up that is generally associated with strength training. When this happens, many people revert to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. Although, this may take away the pain, it does not get to the root of the problem; congestion and build up. This poses the sixty-four thousand dollar question:

Will taking anti-inflammatory drugs decongest the area?

No, anti-inflammatory drugs may take away pain, but it also prevents the body’s natural signal to solve the problem. One of the most efficient ways for waste to leave is through the lymphatic system. Also, as muscle activation (i.e. walking, jogging, weighted exercise, etc.) increases, the efficiency of the lymphatic system to rid deoxiginated blood from the area increases. When you take NSAIDs, you are just masking the problem. There is still waste buildup that has not been cleared out of the area. When this pressure from the waste builds up, the inflammatory response repeats itself”¦ Congestion begets congestion.

There are many people, if for sitting for long periods of time, will experience ankle swelling or swelling of the feet. This is mainly because muscle activation has severely dropped off. Do people immediately pop an ibuprofen to reduce swelling? No, you get up and walk around! Muscle activation is extremely important to help the inflammation process and to speed up recovery.

Just remember one thing: There can be inflammation without healing, but there cannot be healing without inflammation.

John Grace

John Grace

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Sport Performance Coach | NSCA-CSCS | USA Track & Field L-1 | Avid Blogger | Voracious Reader
John Grace


Head Fitness Coach for the Orlando Pride. I tweet about all things sport science, coaching, training, and athlete development.
@miggy__5 2. If full ROM isn't possible, I may use exercises with as much ROM as allowable with little/no pain and… - 1 week ago
John Grace
By |2017-04-13T11:08:46+00:00September 4th, 2012|Training Info|0 Comments

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