Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General Inflammation – What is it? Literally.

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    • #71376

      We’ve now heard that icing isn’t always the best treatment for inflamed tissue. We’ve also heard that the bodies natural way to remove inflammation is to use the lymphatic system. Since the lymphatic system’s “pump/activation” is driven by muscular contraction, we are encouraged to keep our bodies mobilized with compression and elevation to address inflammation.

      But my question is – what is the stuff that’s inflaming the area? What is the stuff that goes through the lymphatic system and gets pumped out when we move or hook up a Marc Pro?

      The common definition for inflammation is: Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response.

      They describe it as a part of a process, but they don’t go into the specifics.

      I assume any blood that was produced from tissue rupture would be included, along with any other dead cells of the damaged soft tissue. In the case of bites or poisons, I assume the toxins would be included in the inflammation. But if we’re just dealing with sprains and injuries, what else other than blood and dead/damaged soft tissue is inflammation made of?

    • #75041
      Brian HasekBrian Hasek

      I’m not an immunologist or rheumatologist, but it’s the body’s response to injury or invader. It generally involves the response of injured or infected tissue in the form of chemical signals. The signals recruit immune cells to respond to damaged cells or pathogens. Acute inflammation is generally helpful. Chronic inflammation isn’t so good. Also, a balance to catabolic and anabolic responses are important with respect to injury response.

    • #75039

      A Marc Pro clears cell waste, lactic acid.
      A Marc Pro is not used with injury.
      The below info is from “Anti Inflammatory” by Gary Renl, Nicholas Di Nubile, Lenard Smith, Casey Renl, Crystal Renl.
      The body responds to injury with a sequence of events.
      Inflammatory cells remove debris and recruit cytokines.
      During the proliferative  phase fibroblasts build a new extracellular matrix
      Inflammation, repair, remodel.
      You are moving fluid and other waste from the area back to general circulation.
      You want to evacuate the waste

    • #75031

      Yeah both of you guys are referencing the “process/stage” side of the inflammation – but not that actual components.

      Although Kaitlin, you did mention lactic acid as an additional component that I hadn’t mentioned in the OP – so thank you for that!

      Kaitlin you also referenced “Inflammatory cells” which remove debris – what are these inflammatory cells? What are they made of? Are they proteins? Energy molecules? Other amino acid type cells that just do a different job? This is exactly the kind of stuff I’m trying to learn and figure out. 🙂

      The reference also says that you are removing fluid and “other waste”. What is the breakdown and specific names of this “other waste”?

      Overall great inputs and discussion so far guys! I think this is exactly where we need to be headed with the conversation.

    • #76035

      Some is damaged tissue particles are too big to re enter veins to pass. It then is in the lymphatic system to pass.
      Listen to Kenny Kane’s Positivity Project Episode with Gary Renil Gary speaks to what is happening with injury.

    • #76036
      AvatarRhonda Starr


      First things first, your proteins, energy molecules and amino acids are components of cells. They usually have variable uses throughout the body (proteins for example can help carry other molecules to end termini while also being broken down and used for tissue repair). During immune response a variety of cells, identified by function and location (example the monocyte (blood born clean up cell for debris) vs. the tissue macrophage (same function and cell really just different location)) respond to the injured or infected area. Immediate response cells, often granulocytes (ie neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils), and not quite cells (platelets) are just that, an immediate response that triggers other cellular and biochemical cascades to occur. Platelets trigger cytokine release by local cells during tissue injury (usually due to physical injury but can occur in some disease states) that then signal other cells and cell production/maturation centers (marrow, thymus, spleen, etc.) based on the causitive agent of the immediate cell response.

      Cytokines are chemical messages sent between cells and other cells, surrounding epithelium, nerve centers, immune organs, etc. They can also be active chemicals in the inflammatory process itself (ex: interferons used both to interrupt virus function/expansion and trigger immune response in circulating lymphocytes). Those cytokines that cause an increase in fluid and temperature within the affected area are known as pyrogens.


      As far as the “wastes” you asked about it is mostly cellular debris resulting from physical interruption of cell membrane continuity, example being that a broken bone will cause osteocytes damage, it will likely also cause damage to the soft tissue (muscle, cartilage, and epithelial cells) surrounding it. If you interrupt a cell’s plasma membrane over a large enough area it is destroyed. When this happens various cellular organelles and molecules(examples of harmful organelles would be lysozomes which contain lysozyme, an enzyme designed to destroy cell membrane components, not something you want flying around your extracellular environment on a regular basis) are dumped into the injured area. Many of these organelles and molecules are exclusively intracellular in nature and can either cause damage or be damaged by the extracellular environment. This also leads to cytokine release, influx of immune cells of various kinds through increased blood flow which means an increase in fluid in the area which stretches surrounding soft tissue closer to its expansion extremes which is why an inflammed joint will feel stiff as there is less give in the tissue to allow physical movement (sorry for the runon sentence there).

      To summarize, inflammation is a site specific process with global consequences when considering parts of the body in relation to the entirety.


      Source: 5 years of study in Molecular Biology/Biotech and Medical Technology. 5 years working as a Clinical Lab Scientist in a hospital environment, and many in depth conversations with pathologists concerning immune response and autoimmune diseases during the work day. Hope this helps clear some thing up for you, if you need to find definitions or more in depth explanations, google is your friend and there are a variety of free immunology research papers and even college level courses online.

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