Why is swelling bad for healing?



I get why swelling is painful/inconvenient. What I don’t get is why doctors recommend things to reduce swelling of an injury even if pain management isn’t an issue (unless they just assume it is). Isn’t swelling part of our bodies natural response to protect/heal an injury?

In: 15

Swelling is actually good for healing, especially in the first 48 hours of injury – as it increases the blood supply to the injured area. Blood brings oxygen and other nutrients which the tissues needs to effectively heal. However, it is a balancing act. Swelling increases pressure to the injured area, which is one of the ways we perceive pain, so managing swelling helps more than you think to manage pain. The other consideration is that too much swelling might prevent/restrict movement, and this aside from being really uncomfortable, decreased blood flow to the area.

People think bodies are somehow super smart, not really they evolved to be just smart enough.

That means in certain situations the body will do good short term but bad long term.

Example you damaged the achilies tendon, body inflames region, short term good promotes healing and pain makes us reduce activity, long term bad because some cells will see the strain and inflamation and through some complicated process start to calcify and you get bone spurs into the tendon over time.

Now this is an extreme example that happens over years but you get the idea.