Inflammation

Within every living cell (muscle, tendon, lung, bone, etc.), there is a biochemical and cellular time bomb waiting to go off—inflammation. However, it is to be noted that inflammation is a double-edged sword. More animals (and probably people)

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Within every living cell (muscle, tendon, lung, bone, etc.), there is a biochemical and cellular time bomb waiting to go off—inflammation. However, it is to be noted that inflammation is a double-edged sword. More animals (and probably people) die from an inflammatory disease than all other disease processes combined, yet without an adequate inflammatory response by the body’s cells, the living organism could not survive for long. The inflammatory response is necessary for fighting infection and the normal healing of damaged tissue.






Leg in ice
MATT GOINS


Inflammation is a good thing in most cases and we do not want to eliminate it. But because of its ability to “run wild” and do more harm than good, there is a need to control it.


The word inflammation literally means “a burning” and has been referred to in medical literature since the first century A.D. Based on the physical observations of his human patients, the Roman Cornelius Celsus formulated his famous “cardinal signs” of inflammation: calor, ruber, tumor, and dolor. The English translation yields the following: heat, redness, swelling, and pain, respectively. To this list, the famous human pathologist Rudolf Virchow added functio laesa (loss of function). By following the observations of these two famous figures in medicine, numerous people, including Louis Pasteur, made significant observations and research discoveries with regard to the causes and functions of inflammation within a living organism

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Michael A. Ball, DVM, completed an internship in medicine and surgery and an internship in anesthesia at the University of Georgia in 1994, a residency in internal medicine, and graduate work in pharmacology at Cornell University in 1997, and was on staff at Cornell before starting Early Winter Equine Medicine & Surgery located in Ithaca, New York. He was an FEI veterinarian and worked internationally with the United States Equestrian Team. He died in 2014.

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