The Body is Good at Overreacting

The reason the first stage of injury is so painful is because the body is sending in the troops with an aggressive frontal assault to the damaged area. The pain is the body’s reaction to the injury. It is a “better safe than sorry” mechanism designed to stop you from doing any more damage. That’s why the slightest movement or pressure is so painful at this stage. Your body is telling you to stop!

Acute inflammation usually occurs for 48-72 hours after the initial trauma. The four signs of this stage are swelling, heat, redness and local pain & stiffness.

At the moment of an injury and for the next 24 – 48 hrs hundreds of chemicals are released by the body. These include immune agents, inflammatory agents and red & white blood cells geared to clear the damaged cells.

The body tends to respond by mobilizing all the troops and often ends up with too much of a good thing – sending an over abundance of these helpful chemical agents.

Leading to swelling stiffness and increased pain. That’s why most injuries hurt more the next day.

Clearing out the biochemical traffic jam is essential for allowing the body to move into the next phase of healing. Acupuncture helps accelerate the transition between inflammatory responses and later healing phases.

Acupuncture works by clearing the excess heat, increasing microcirculation and reducing local swelling. Acupuncture also releases endorphins to block the pain, allowing the muscles to relax thus reducing local stiffness.

So the sooner you seek treatment the better you will feel and faster you will heal.

Photo Credit: Alden Jewell

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