When you’re aching, it’s tough to figure out what is causing it. In a lot of situations, it is brought on by inflammation, but it can get confusing when swelling is involved. Though many people might think those are the same thing, they can actually mean very different things. We’re going to take a look at the difference between inflammation and swelling today to give you an idea of what your issue may be. If you are experiencing aches, pains, inflammation, or swelling, Call Family Chiropractic Center of Santa Fe. Dr. Perlstein has over 30 years of experience and will help you get back to 100 percent.


Pretty much everyone has experienced swelling at some point in their life. While it can occur when a body part becomes inflamed, it is usually brought on after fluid has accumulated in tissues throughout the body or one specific region of the body. That means that swelling can occur without the body experiencing any inflammation. Because of this, swelling and inflammation are not synonymous. Many people have experienced swelling without inflammation after flying on a plane. This is caused by shifts in the cabin pressure and altitude, causing legs and ankles to swell.


Most often found following an injury, inflammation is the pooling of fluid in tissue as a biological response to some sort of harmful stimuli. This catalyst could be a pathogen, damaged cells, or another form of irritant. The body uses inflammation as a way to protect the body using a combination of blood vessels, white blood cells, and other molecular mediators. One such mediator that is released is histamine, and its purpose is to trigger vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels to reduce blood pressure) and increase vascular permeability.

-Telling the Difference

Inflammation can be characterized by redness around the area in question, increased local temperature or otherwise strange warmth, immobilization of the area, pain, swelling, or edema. However, just because inflammation can include swelling, not all swelling is caused by inflammation. Essentially, swelling is caused by too much fluid coming out of the vessels and into the soft tissue. Swelling can be entirely painless, as well, which is usually the truest sign inflammation is not involved. Because inflammation is typically caused by some sort of irritation or injury, the pain from it should point you in the right direction.

-How to Treat Inflammation

Depending on the cause of the inflammation, there are many ways it can be treated. For arthritis, it can be treated with medication, rest, exercise, or surgery depending on the severity of the inflammation. Because inflammation is brought on by a variety of factors, the treatment prescribed will change to suit the cause of the issue.

If you think you are dealing with inflammation and you are unsure of what caused it, call us today at the Family Chiropractic Center of Santa Fe. We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you to meet with Dr. Perlstein so we can get you back to fighting shape. Nobody deserves to walk around in pain. Make the change!