Understanding Inflammation

Inflammation is a hot topic at the moment. It's used to sell things, describe things, and even justify actions. However, the body’s inflammatory response is much more complex than what the media might be giving it credit for.

At times, inflammation is necessary for positive adaptations. A little bit of “bad” is what signals the rebuilding and adaptive process, aka “the good”. We can have localized inflammation, like that which occurs from myokine signaling in the muscle (relatively localized) and then we can have systemic inflammation, like that which occurs during metabolic syndrome. To label these two types of inflammation as the same would be incorrect. While both are happening and might even bring about similar inflammatory markers, like IL-6, the root cause of inflammation is quite different.

So while this post is not designed to dive into the granularity of inflammation, to think all inflammation is bad is probably incorrect. Some studies have shown that the acute blunting of inflammation post-exercise can actually be detrimental to adaptation, so long term oral NSAID use should generally be avoided.