A protective response elicited by the body through the WBCs and several chemicals in response to foreign particles in known as inflammation. Human body is protected from damaging agents like bacteria, virus, other microorganism and foreign particles by this mechanism.


Depending upon the onset and duration of inflammation, inflammation is further classified in following types:

Acute inflammation: It has a rapid onset and worsens quickly. It usually persists for a few days, resolving on its own afterwards. It involves mainly neutrophils and causative agent in this type is generally a trauma or some bacteria.

Chronic inflammation: It is a gradual form of inflammation caused by a persistent infection by a nondegradable agent. It mainly involves macrophages and tends to range in duration from months to several years causing tissue destruction.


Major symptoms of inflammation are:

  • Tenderness

  • Swelling

  • Pain

  • Stiffness

  • Joints pain

  • Fever

  • Chills and fatigue

  • Headache

  • Loss of appetite

  • Muscle stiffness

  • Increased temperature

Inflammation has got 5 classical signs, known as the “cardinal signs of inflammation”:

  • Calor (heat)

  • Dolor (pain)

  • Rubor (redness)

  • Tumor (swelling)

  • Functio laesa (loss of function)


Any substance that is taken as foreign particle by the body’s immune system and can damage body tissue is capable of inducing inflammation.


Inflammation can be evaluated by:

  • Complete history and physical examination

  • Evaluation of joints’ condition and other symptoms

  • Blood work and x-rays


  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and others painkillers are used to block the COX enzymes that are responsible for synthesizing prostaglandins and other mediators of inflammation.

  • Acetaminophen is used to reduce and cure the symptoms associated with inflammation like fever and headache.

  • Corticosteroids are also administered to minimize the immune response.