I have had the repeated experience of going to physiotherapists with injuries to ligaments or joints and they all expressly aim to reduce inflammation.

I don’t understand this. Our mammalian (and previously reptilian ?) bodies have been using inflammation for hundreds of millions of years (mammals have been around for 167-220 million years). Surely this is a tried and true response to injuries and healing injuries - those organisms that practice it have been selected for because it works.

Do all mammals experience inflammation in response to injuries? Do reptiles? Why is inflammation considered to be a bad response? Or in other words - why does my physiotherapist(s) actively fight hundreds of millions of years of evolution to stop this response?

I understand that stopping inflammation reduces pain- but surely it also stops natures tried and true native healing response?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE. There is a (very strong) recommendation to show evidence of research (a quote with a link) included with your question. What have you read about inflammation and how it is good/healing for the body? Is there a difference between acute and chronic inflammation? Why are anti inflammatories and physiotherapy helpful? Not everything that is natural is good. $\endgroup$ Oct 2, 2023 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ Similar underlying question: What is the benefit of fever during infections? $\endgroup$
    – acvill
    Oct 27, 2023 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ Agoodnurse: This is my research. That’s why I am on this forum - to ask questions and get answers that inform me of the right view on this! $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2023 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


You're right, inflammation is a healing response-at first. Whenever we get hurt, such as an infection or a knee injury, inflammation is part of our healing response, and helps to recruit a further immune response-sort of a cause and effect. Problem is when inflammation doesn't cease. This can be caused by a number of issues, such as autoimmune disorders, arthritis, I'm forgetting a few. If the joint stays inflamed, then the added swelling caused by fluid can put pressure on the joint & nerves causing pain.

I like to think about it like a plant-if it's dry, we water it. But if we keep watering it the plant will rot, the best move is to cut the watering down.


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