If you suffer from joint pain, it is possible that you could also be suffering from inflammation. Symptoms of inflammation include redness, swollen joint that is sometimes warm to the touch, joint pain, and loss of joint function. If any of that sounds familiar to you, it could be possible that you need to seek attention from a doctor regarding inflammation.
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According to WebMD, inflammation is a process by which the body's white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. Basically, when something harmful happens to the body, your body enacts a biological response to combat it. So in theory, inflammation is meant to protect your body and can be beneficial. For example, if your knee sustains a blow, inflammation comes in to save the day when your tissues need care and protection. But sometimes it can cause further inflammation in a self-perpetuating cycle, which is where inflammation can get tricky.
Inflammation causes irritation, swelling of your joint lining and eventually wearing down of cartilage. If you feel you may suffer from an inflammatory disease like arthritis, you should talk to your doctor, who will diagnose you after careful evaluation of:
- Your complete medical history and a physical exam with attention to: pattern of painful joints; presence of joint stiffness in the morning; and evaluation of other symptoms
- The results of X-rays and blood tests.
Inflammation is part of your body's immune response. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, or general flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue or loss of energy, headaches, loss of appetite or muscle stiffness, you should see your doctor to discuss treatment options. There are anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen available over the counter, but if you suspect a more serious or lingering disease is to blame for your discomfort, you should see your doctor.
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