Inflammation: Friend or Foe?

Believe it or not inflammation can be a good thing. When you sustain an injury to an area inflammation serves several purposes. FIrst, it increases the temperature of the area, which allows the immune system to work more effectively. The cells of the immune system work most efficiently at a higher temperature and when they have alot of work to do, such as removing damaged cells and tissue and repairing / replacing it with new tissue, the temperature of the area needing repairs is raised. Hence is the feeling of an area being hot and swollen after an injury.

Secondly, the inflammation makes it difficult for the muscles in the area to contract effectively, which serves to protect the area while the immune system is busy at work repairing the tissues. This makes the muscles in the area feel “weak” because they are unable to do their typical job of moving the joint(s) around. It may make it difficult to use the area after an injury but the body is only trying to protect itself.

However, there are times when the inflammatory response seems to get stuck and an area chronically seems weak, painful and sometimes warm to the touch. There are a variety of theories as to why this occurs but nothing has been confirmed as a definite reason for the occurrence of chronic inflammation and pain. Many times, the chronic inflammation can occur in one joint or multiple joints. If it occurs in a single joint then it is easy to apply topical creams and gels to the area for relief. In my search for effective products I have found a few topical products I can share with you. The first one is Peaceful Mountain Joint and Tendon Rescue. This product is all natural and has herbals in it that alleviate inflammation effectively. I like it because it does not have a strong odor and it is a gel base.

Another topical product that I have found to be very helpful for painful joints is produced by a company called Natures Sunshine. I am partial to Natures Sunshine because of their stringent quality controls that they utilize throughout the production process. The topical product that seems to help with pain and inflammation is Everflex. This product has MSM which helps to modulate the inflammatory process and Menthol which helps calm irritated pain nerves. This is also a cream which some prefer on their skin.

Many times, when there is chronic inflammation in one joint it is felt in multiple places and placing topical agents on multiple areas is not convenient. In many cases, people resort to the good old standbys of Ibuprofen or Naproxen (Aleve) to resolve their chronic discomfort. These do work, however, long term use can cause stress to the stomach and liver. Using a natural product as a replacement for these over the counter medications may be helpful or just to help complement them for more effectiveness since you can then take higher dosages of the natural products to help relieve some of the inflammation

Again, I go back to Natures Sunshine for their products since I trust their quality and consistency. When targeting joint problems I recommend Everflex. The MSM helps to modulate the inflammatory response and the Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Hyaluronic acid helps support joint integrity and flexibility. When targeting muscle pain and inflammation I recommend IF relief. Personally, I have more issues with the muscles than the joints and I use IF relief quite consistently. For me, and several of my clients, it helps with that morning stiffness that is commonly caused by inflammation. When the body is static and still for longer periods of time inflammation has more time to settle into the muscles which contributes to the stiffness present in the morning.

I have also found a secondary benefit to IF Relief. It helps significantly with workout soreness, which can last anywhere from 1-3 days and can cause a fair amount of discomfort. It may be a good discomfort because you know your muscles are rebuilding stronger than they were before, however, it is not always a desirable feeling. I used to have to limit the frequency of my workouts because of my workout soreness since it lasted 2-3 days. I have also found IF Relief helps tremendously with the soreness after Dry Needling which mimics workout soreness. Since Dry Needling is one of my most used tools to help resolve people of chronic pain, I recommend IF Relief often.

Another beneficial product in the case of chronic pain and inflammation is Magnesium, which is is a natural muscle relaxer. When the muscles are tight throughout the body then it will place additional stress and strain on already inflamed areas and cause more discomfort and possibly more inflammation. I tend to lean towards the Magnesium 250 mg from Natures Sunshine since it also has white willow in the blend which gives additional help with pain relief. However, both are very effective in resolving muscle tightness throughout the body.

As a quick recap, for topical I recommend both the Peaceful Mountain Joint and Tendon and the Natures Sunshine Everflex cream. If you have multiple areas of challenge and inflammation I recommend taking capsules that affect the entire body including Everflex, IF relief and Magnesium.

If you have any additional questions about your specific concerns regarding chronic pain in your body then reach out to me at and we can set up a complimentary 15 min consult to see what can be done to help resolve your discomfort.

In Abundant Health,


About Lisa Marie Keller

Lisa Marie Keller wants to live in a world where it is commonplace to dance to the music of life. As a pain management specialist, she's been working as a Physical Therapist resolving the pain of her patients for a variety of conditions including but not limited to chronic back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain foot pain and even headaches for over thirteen years. Following seven years of traditional schooling and more years than she would like to remember at the School of Hard Knocks resolving her own pain and body dysfunctions she has become the Queen of Conquering Pain. When she’s not pondering on how to solve the next health dilemma, you can find her dancing around in her living room to music that is played much too loud, making snobby comments about amazing wine and fantasizing about where she is going to travel to next. Her first book — Free My Back — hit the Amazon Marketplace in August 2014. You can get a free e-book version of Free My Back by registering at
This entry was posted in dry needling, Immune Health, joint health, Magnesium for Muscles, Muscle Health, Muscle Spasms, Nutrition, Pain and Stress Relief, stress management and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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