Role of Balancing Inflammatory and Anti-inflammatory Immune Factors (e.g., Cytokines):
An injury requires enough inflammation to start the healing process, but not so much that it starts a cascade of immune inflammation that causes damage to by-stander tissues. Cytokines are immune factors generated by white cells that initiate pro-inflammatory (inflammatory) responses and anti-inflammatory responses in response to infection or injury. A healthy person produces appropriate levels of these factors depending on the challenge it encounters. A body in immune homeostasis will either up-regulate, increase immune inflammation, or down-regulate, limit its inflammatory responses, depending on the body’s needs.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) Doctors often suggest non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin when a patient complains of a sprain or other work- or sport-related injury.. These pharmaceutical compounds inhibit the production of immune inflammatory molecules such as cytokines. Limit the amount of inflammation and its resulting pain and stiffness are decreased.
The problem is that many of these medications put people at risk of significant digestive, cardiovascular, kidney, and muscular/skeletal problems. For example, according to the American College of Gastroenterology, the regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is the major cause of potentially life-threatening ulcers and stomach bleeding.
Also, some practitioners question whether the use of NSAIDs may be the cause of increases in osteoarthritis and the high level of knee and hip replacements.
Because of concerns about health risks, some health practitioners physicians suggest complementary, more natural methods, to decrease pain and inflammation, and perhaps even prevent damage from muscle injury.
Glucosamine: Glucosamine is a natural substance produced by the body that encourages cartilage regeneration and the production of synovial fluid that helps “lubricate” the joints. There is evidence that glucosamine has anti-inflammatory properties.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: Omega-3 fish oils have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and help the body control pro-inflammatory cytokines and the pain that results from up regulating, increasing, inflammation.
Vitamin D3:Vitamin D appears to affect immunological function such as inflammation. Vitamin D supplementation has been found to provide therapeutic relief.
Hyperimmune Egg: Hyperimmune egg, an all natural, food-based ingredient, is another approach to helping the body return to immune inflammatory homeostasis. In a study conducted at a major hospital in NYC, individuals on hyperimmune egg for 30 days reported higher levels of joint comfort.
When certain types of glucosamine are added in combination with hyperimmune egg, joints appear to heal more rapidly and individuals report changes in their quality of life.
When experiencing sprains, strains, or other injuries due to work, sports, or accidents, one might wish to consider the use of complementary ingredients prior to starting on prescription medications.