July Focus: Inflammation Part 1

What is inflammation?

There are five cardinal signs:

Rubor:  Redness

Tumor: Swelling

Calor:  Heat

Dolor: Pain

Functio Laesa: Loss of function.

Inflammation is our body’s response to injury, and can be useful in acute situations.  For instance, if you were running from a bear and sprained your ankle, the swelling would stiffen the flesh around the joint, creating something like a cast to allow you to keep running from the rampaging omnivore.  Usually when the injurious stimulus is removed, the inflammation stops.   Sometimes, however, inflammation becomes a positive feedback loop, which is the subject of part 2 on inflammation.

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