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Is systemic inflammation making your pain worse?

Knee pain is very common as we get older, and so is systemic inflammation, but what is systemic inflammation?

Systemic inflammation is the type of inflammation that you may not even know you have an issue with, because you don’t have to have a swollen joint. This type of inflammation is low grade, and it affects your whole body. It can, however, be measured by checking certain inflammatory markers.

The reviewed research investigated if there was an association between increased knee pain and systemic inflammation(Stannus OP et al. 2013). The participants were 149 men and women with an average age of 63 years. Knee pain was determined using an osteoarthritis pain questionnaire at the start of the study and then five years later. Radio graphs as well as MRI were used in the examination.

Several inflammatory markers were tested, highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).

The conclusion was that systemic inflammation is an independent predictor of worsening knee pain over 5 years. Adjustments for radio graphic osteoarthritis or structural abnormalities detected on the MRI did not make much difference regarding that association.

Does this mean that you can’t do anything about this?

No, you can do something about this, and I suggest you do, because systemic inflammation is also a risk factor for chronic disease.

Research has documented that the food you eat can be quite effective in reducing this type of inflammation.

This is one of the things you learn in “The Special Effects Diet”. You can download it here.

Stannus OP1, Jones G, Blizzard L, Cicuttini FM, Ding C. Associations between serum levels of inflammatory markers and change in knee pain over 5 years in older adults: a prospective cohort study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 Apr;72(4):535-40. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201047. Epub 2012

Published with permission by Didrik Sopler, Ph.D., L.Ac : www.TissueRecovery.com Dr. Marsh has worked with and referrers patients to Dr. Sopler for co-management for years . . . He is quite simply San Diego’s top functional medicine consultant.

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