Dr. Kevin Yip

Dr Kevin Yip
Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS(UK), FRCS(EDIN), FAM(SING), FHKCOS(ORTHO)

Featured on Channel NewsAsia

Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s response to tissue injury caused by pressure, friction, repeated load or overload, and external trauma. Trauma is associated with bleeding, which causes swelling and increased pressure.
Both extrinsic and intrinsic factors (see above) contribute to the inflammatory reaction in tendon sheaths, tendon and muscle attachments, bursae, and the periosteum. Overuse injuries can result from various
combinations of frequency and loading, such as: – normal load at high frequency/many repetitions; – heavy load at normal frequency;
– heavy load at high frequency. Inflammation also occurs in response to bacterial infections. It both confines and combats such infections as well as stimulating healing. Whatever the nature of the underlying cause, the inflammatory response leads to impaired and painful mobility of the affected part and thus enforces rest. If it affects gliding surfaces, such as those of tendons and their sheaths, crepitus or ‘creaking’ may develop. If  inflammation goes unchecked, scar tissue will develop, and early intensive treatment is therefore recommended. The most important step in the management of inflammation is the removal or reversal of its cause. Next
in importance is the reduction of swelling so as to relieve pain, improve mobility, and encourage healing. Symptoms typical of inflammation include the following: – swelling caused by accumulation of fluid; – redness caused by increased blood flow; – local rise of temperature, caused by increased blood flow around the injured area; – tenderness on touching the affected area;
– impaired function of the affected part due to swelling and tenderness.
Inflammation often begins insidiously, and initially pain and stiffness may decrease or even disappear after warm-up. Usually, however, the pain returns and intensifies during continued activity and unless a rest break is taken, there is a great danger of entering the ‘pain cycle’ where continued activity leads to further injury, inflammation and pain. Unless the cycle is interrupted, chronic pain results and can be extremely difficult to treat.

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