What is the physiological advantage of inflammation? Do anti-inflammatories hurt the body's ability to heal?
Th function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the trauma and to initiate tissue repair.
The physiological advantages of inflammation are :
- activation of immune system
- destruction of pathogens
- delivery of oxygen and nutrients
- delivery of repair cells and molecules
- increased temperature
- toxin dilution
- assist in drug delivery
Inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by increased movement of plasma and leukocytes from the blood into the injured tissue. A series of biochemical events propagates and matures the inflammatory response, involving the local vascular system and various cells within the injured tissue. Prolonged inflammation results in simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammation process.
In a normal healthy response, inflammation becomes activated, clears the pathogen and begins a repair process and then ceases. It is characterised by five cardinal signs - pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function.
Some anti inflammatory drugs prevent the inflammation process from initiating the healing process. One of the damaging side effects of Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs is the inhibition of healing process of soft tissues. They inhibit the release of prostaglandins, thus ultimately decreasing the blood flow to the injured area.