Do you know what happens in your body when you get an injury? Why do you see redness and feel pain when you are hurt? This is inflammation at work as a response to the injury, and it progresses through the stages of redness, heat, swelling and pain.
Behind the scenes, prostaglandins [learn more at wikipedia.org] are responsible for the action. These are lipids produced in the body to deal with your injury. But what is the connection between prostaglandins and inflammation? If you dig medical language, you may want to read the report “The role of prostaglandins in inflammation” published at PubMed Central.
Incidentally, there are good prostaglandins and bad ones. First, let’s look at the bad prostaglandins…
When an area of your body is hurt, the body actually tells you not to use that area by sending bad prostaglandins there to cause redness, pain and other inflammatory responses. This is actually the first protective mechanism of the healing process.
Inflammation is a temporary condition that precedes the next phase when “healing forces” are sent in to repair damaged cells at the affected area. Thus, the healing process starts afterwards.
Good prostaglandins have anti-inflammatory properties, ie they reduce pain, swelling and redness. They follow up on the bad prostaglandins when the injured area is healing.
Once the bad prostaglandins have done their work, the body creates fibrin (also known as scar tissue) to surround the injured area with a mesh-like coating — this forms the second protection. Meanwhile, repair mechanisms go to work.
Under normal circumstances, this one-two protective mechanism lasts only a few days, after which the body sends in good prostaglandins to shut down the protection. At this point, redness, swelling and pain start to disappear, while the scar tissue is dissolved forever.
Do Prostaglandins Fail to Work?
Both bad and good prostaglandins have their places in the healing process. Do we take for granted they will work all the time? Can you imagine what would happen should prostaglandins fail to work? Would that mean your inflammation doesn’t go away or gets worse?
In fact, certain pain medications are known to interfere with your body’s prostaglandins. These meds include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs — one of 5 most dangerous pain medications you should avoid, as revealed in a special report by The Healthy Back Institute.
We will explore the issue of NSAIDs in another article.