Systemic Inflammation, Pain and Degenerative Disease: Part II
By Dr. Greg Fors, DC – Board-certified Neurologist DIBCN Posted On: 01/03/2008
A major factor in the formation of chronic inflammation in your patients’ tissues is the presence of free radicals occurring in greater abundance than the body’s ability to remove them. This imbalanced condition is known as oxidative stress. The presence of oxidative stress in your patients’ myofascial tissues will automatically create an inflammatory response in their muscles and joints. This inflammatory response will then cause the release of more free radicals in the affected tissues, creating greater oxidative stress and causing an increased inflammatory response. As you can see, this forms a vicious cycle, but worse yet, this cycle can accelerate, creating what is known as a feed-forward cycle, thereby making symptoms progressive with eventual tissue degeneration.
Here is the crucial fact to understand about chronic muscle and joint pain problems, whether secondary to acute or repetitive stress; they develop primarily from improperly managed inflammation and oxidative stress in your patients’ tissues. In chronic muscle and joint disorders, the presence of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in the myofascial tissues are as inseparable as ‘love and marriage’; you cannot have one without the other. Therefore, to correctly heal chronic muscle and joint problems, you must learn how to manage the metabolic factors of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Luckily, there are herbal and nutritional supplements that can assist you in naturally managing these metabolic factors in your patients with chronic pain.
Today, almost everyone is aware of antioxidant supplements such as vitamin A, C, E, beta-carotenes, bioflavonoids, as well as other lesser-known phyto-nutrients. In addition, certain dietary minerals, such as selenium and zinc, are utilized by tissues to produce endogenous antioxidants. Even though many of your patients take antioxidants, many do not realize exactly why they are taking them. Anti-oxidant supplementation is helpful in neutralizing free radicals in myofascial tissues, thereby reducing the presence of systemic inflammation. Besides these nutrients that help to manage your patients’ oxidative stress, and subsequently reduce chronic inflammation, there are very specific botanicals available for treating chronic Inflammation.