THE BIOCHEMICAL ORIGIN OF PAINby Sota Omoigui

CHAPTER 2

EFFECTS OF THE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE

The primary physical effect of the inflammatory response is for blood circulation to increase around the affected area. Blood vessels around the site of inflammation dilate, allowing increased blood flow to the area. Gaps appear in the cell walls surrounding the area, allowing the larger cells of the blood, i.e. the immune cells, to pass through. As a result of the increased blood flow, the immune presence is increased. All of the different types of cells that constitute the immune system congregate at the site of inflammation, along with a large supply of chemical mediators, which fuel the immune response. There is an increase in local or body heat. The main symptoms of the inflammatory response are as follows.

1. The tissues in the area are red and warm, as a result of the large amount of blood reaching the site.

2. The tissues in the area are swollen, again due to the increased amount of blood and proteins that are present.

3. The tissues in the area are painful, due to the presence of the inflammatory mediators and due to the expansion of tissues, causing mechanical pressure on nerve cells.