If you watch any amount of TV or listen to the radio you have heard many commercials touting the next best product to help fight inflammation. Whether it be ib profen, a muscle rub, a prescription medication, a supplement or even a diet, they tend to position inflammation as the bad guy. In reality, inflammation is our friend and defense mechanism from unwanted injuries and infection.
Types of inflammation
There are two types of inflammation: Acute and Chronic.
Acute: Occurs when we are cut or bruised. Our immune system sends in white blood cells (inflammation) to help heal our injuries. This is also the case when a virus or bacteria invade our body. So inflammation is essential for us to heal from injuries or sickness.
Chronic: Chronic inflammation is the result of pathogens, toxins and/or an over active immune response that your body cannot get rid of or stop. Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer, heart disease, digestive issues and autoimmune disorders. More and more research is also pointing to inflammation being the culprit of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative related conditions.
In the two types of inflammation the goal should not be elimination, but rather regulation of the inflammation process. After all, it is our immune system that regulates inflammation. So if we are constantly wiping out the inflammation we are essentially wiping out our own immune system.
How to regulate inflammation
Now that we understand that inflammation should be our tool and not our enemy, we can utilize many different means to help with inflammation.
1. Diet- Low inflammation diets(unprocessed, low sugar/carbs) like the Mediterranean.
2. Herbs- Tumeric and Curcumin.
3. Yoga- Helps increase Heart Rate Variability
4. Resistant exercise
5. Specific Nutrition- Balancing mineral levels and their ratios is the best way to regulate inflammation via nutrition.
Built in inflammation regulation?
We as a society have an inflammation problem. This is due to our lifestyle. When you think of the stress we put on ourselves, the processed foods we ingest because they are easily accessible, and our increasingly sedentary lifestyle it’s no wonder why America is ranked 34/50 countries in overall health. [LINK]
While the majority of people focus on what they can do to reduce inflammation in the body from external means, they don’t even tap into their “built in” ability to do so. As we discussed earlier it is the immune system that regulates the inflammation in the body. But it is the nervous system that controls and coordinates the immune system. If the nervous system is not functioning properly it cannot adequately coordinate the immune system. Sure, you will have some sort of healing taking place, but it’s the quality that is lacking. In order for your immune system to function optimally you need your nervous system to be functioning at 100%. If the nervous system is obstructed, by any means, then it is the equivalent of a 100 watt light bulb only getting enough electricity to give off 50% of its light.
How can Structural Chiropractic help with inflammation?
A structural chiropractor looks for structural abnormalities (misalignments) in the spine that could be obstructing nerve tissue causing a variety of secondary conditions including the inability to regulate inflammation. By specifically adjusting the spine to remove the obstruction, nervous system function is restored, therefore increasing your body’s ability to regulate inflammation.