Physiotherapy for Inflammation

Physiotherapy for Inflammation

Physiotherapy for Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s attempt at self-protection. The aim of any kind of inflammation is to remove harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, irritants, or pathogens – and begin the healing process. When there’s something harmful affects a part of our body, there is a biological response which tries to remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation, specifically acute inflammation, show that the body is trying to heal itself.

Infection and inflammation are two different things. An infection can cause inflammation, because an infection is caused by a bacterium, virus or fungus, while inflammation is the body’s response to it. Inflammation is a part of the body’s immune response. Initially, it is beneficial when, for example, your knee gets injured and tissues need care and protection. However, sometimes inflammation can become self-perpetuating and can cause further damage. Inflammation is not a pathological condition in itself, but rather the body’s reaction to tissue damage. The inflammatory cells remove debris and draw healing cells to the injury site.


  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Skin warmth

You can successfully manage your symptoms of inflammation following a minor injury. Depending on the type of injury, inflammation can be categorized as acute or chronic. Acute inflammation starts rapidly and quickly becomes severe. Signs and symptoms are only present for a few days, but in some cases it may persist for a few weeks. Chronic inflammation means long term inflammation, which can last for several months and even years.

Physiotherapists generally use techniques that include heat therapy, cold therapy, electrical stimulation, traction, massage and acupuncture. Massage therapy is generally not recommended for inflammations. For therapists, whether to use heat or cold therapy is often a personal choice, although cold therapy seems to be more effective for acute pain.

  • Heat Therapy

Heat therapy increases blood flow and makes connective tissue more flexible. Temporarily, it decreases joint stiffness, pain and muscle spasms. Heat also helps reduce inflammation and the building up of fluid in tissues (edema). Normally, heat therapy is used to treat inflammation – including various forms of arthritis, muscle spasm, and injuries such as sprains and strains.

  • Cold Therapy
    Applying cold packs may help numb tissues and relieve muscles spasms, pain due to injuries, due to low back pain or inflammation that has recently developed. Cold may be applied using an ice bag, a cold pack or fluids (such as ethyl chloride) that cools by evaporation. The physiotherapist limits the time and amount of cold exposure to avoid damaging tissues and reducing body temperature causing hypothermia.
  • Electrical Stimulation 
    Because of peripheral nerve injury, spinal cord disorder or stroke, muscles may lack proper nerve input. In such cases, muscles may quickly waste away (atrophy) and become stiff and contracted (spastic). Electrical stimulation by electrodes placed on the skin causes the muscles to contract, providing a form of exercise that helps prevent atrophy and spasticity.

​Inflammation is not a big whack, however, it’s certainly supposed to be treated as soon as possible. Reaching out to a physiotherapist is the best approach. Our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton are well-trained and experienced to help you out of any inflammatory injuries.