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What is Neurogenic Inflammation?

When there is an injury, trauma or infection in a part of the body, inflammation of the tissue is a normal response, and the first phase of healing. The sensations of inflamed tissue (for example, warmth, fullness and pain) are conveyed by the nerves – the messengers to the brain.

Sometimes, however, it is not the tissues themselves that are the source of the inflammation, but the nerves. This is called ‘’neurogenic inflammation’’, and in this case, it is not the tissues, but the messengers themselves that are the problem! There is no actual tissue-related trigger of the inflammation (such as infection, trauma or injury); the nerves themselves are producing the inflammation. The messages of the messengers get all mixed up!

The most interesting thing about this is this: neurogenic inflammation can occur solely due to stress! The stress response in the body results in some predictable physiological events: activation of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system (the ‘’fight or flight’’ response), production of stress hormones such as cortisol, and production of inflammatory chemicals from the sensory nerves. The latter is the process described as neurogenic inflammation.

The positive to take out of this, is knowing that if you have a condition where neurogenic inflammation is present, such as chronic pelvic pain, you have a certain amount of power in your hands to change the symptoms you experience by changing your response to stress.

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