Can inflammation aggravate your chronic condition?

Yes, inflammation in the body can intensify a chronic condition. A chronic condition is often associated with ongoing inflammation, and when additional inflammation is introduced, it can worsen the symptoms of the condition. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, but when it persists over time, it can lead to tissue damage and chronic disease.

By Cindy Pivacic.


In December 2022, I took a 6km walk and developed a sore hip. The next day, the stiffness I felt, I attributed to the workout, and thought nothing more about it until a week later when I realised I was still ‘stiff’ and had developed a slight limp to accommodate the pain. Shortly before this walk in early September, I started to experience discomfort and pain in my left shoulder that later also flared up in my right shoulder. 

I had difficulty lifting things, changing the gears of my car, and undertaking other daily activities. I tried various forms of exercise, medication etc. for this ailment, later diagnosed as rotator cuff syndrome that I am still trying to get under control with prescribed exercise. Rotator cuff syndrome can take up to nine months to heal. 

I tried a number of over-the-counter remedies for my hip pain which was eventually diagnosed as bursitis (‘Bursitis: Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between moving parts in your body’s joints. Hip bursitis is inflammation or irritation of one or more of the bursae in your hip’). Nothing alleviated the problem. I went for a massage. It did not work. I went for a medical injection. It did not work. I am currently on anti-inflammatories and have been getting exercise options from a Biokineticist to rehabilitate the hip area.

Both these conditions have contributed, since January, to my reduced purpose, drive, focus, and ability to exercise. The last few months have greatly affected my mental attitude towards my general well-being, mind, body and soul. In the last two weeks I have implemented different tactics to improve my hip ache, after engaging the above attempts to sort out my pain. 

The moral of the story is that you have to keep trying different procedures until you find the one that works for your ailment. The current prescribed medication and exercises as well as some additional vitamin supplements are doing the trick and will have to be adhered to for a while until I have full relief. My mindset has taken a turn for the better and I feel that I am on the right track. 

‘They’ say, perseverance pays!

Note: Chronic inflammation can worsen symptoms of conditions like arthritis, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Inflammation can also contribute to the development of conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other autoimmune disorders.

It is important to address and manage inflammation in the body, especially if you have a chronic condition. This can be achieved through lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, reducing stress, and avoiding exposure to toxins. 

Left unaddressed, chronic inflammation can damage healthy cells, tissues and organs, and may cause internal scarring, tissue death and damage to the DNA in previously healthy cells. 

 Additionally, there are medical treatments available that can help manage inflammation, such as anti-inflammatory medications or immunosuppressive drugs. Ask your health worker for options that will suit your current condition and are compatible with medication you are presently taking.

A chronic condition can affect anyone. How you manage it is what makes the difference.

You can get cover of up to 3 million rand for your chronic health condition and up to 10 million if you are living with HIV.

SMS CHRONIC to 33857 to find out more. 

I did!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure, and is not a substitute for professional consultation with a health professional.


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