Signs & Symptoms Of Inflammation

Get to know the five primary characteristics of inflammation.

Signs are those things that can be observed or measured objectively (such as swelling or fever). Symptoms, on the other hand, are subjective; only the person who experiences the symptom knows it is present and how severe it is (such as pain).

The signs and symptoms of inflammation are:

  • redness
  • heat
  • swelling
  • pain
  • loss of function

Not all five signs and symptoms occur in every case of inflammation; sometimes people will experience only one or two. Sometimes they can be severe enough to make it difficult to do simple things such as getting out of a chair, or they may be so mild that they are hardly noticeable.

Chronic inflammation can lead to a condition called myofascial pain syndrome.

Inflammation & Pain

The pain associated with inflammation can take a variety of forms. Depending on the severity of the inflammation, it can be described as stiffness, discomfort, throbbing, pulsating, pinching, or agonizing.

When an injury occurs, the damaged tissue sends an electrical pain signal to the brain, and it triggers the release of chemicals called prostaglandins that cause the tissue to swell. The swelling pushes against sensitive nerve endings, which increases the pain.

Relieving Symptoms

There are a number of treatment options available to deal with inflammation. Sometimes simple measures, such as resting the affected area and taking medication to relieve the symptoms, is enough. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to address an underlying problem, such as repairing an injury.

Ibuprofen works by blocking the effects of enzymes that are necessary to create prostaglandins, substances responsible for much of the discomfort associated with inflammation.

When you are looking for a medication to treat the signs and symptoms of inflammation, it is important to select a product that does more than just relieve the pain. A class of drugs that relieves pain is known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—NSAIDs for short. These medications work on a chemical level to reduce pain from inflammation. Ibuprofen is among the most commonly used NSAIDs.

Works by blocking the effects of enzymes that are necessary to create prostaglandins, substances that are responsible for much of the discomfort associated with inflammation. Blocking the enzymes inhibits the formation of prostaglandins, and a lower level of prostaglandins in the body means less pain.