Chronic systemic inflammation can be a possible factor in re-occurring musculoskeletal pain.

Systemic inflammation can have many underlying causes, from bad genes to mild autoimmune disease (including allergies), smoking or other severe biological stresses, chronic infections, and even just getting old (known as “inflammaging”).

Also, obesity, metabolic syndrome, poor fitness and emotional stress can cause this phenomenon.

This is one of the reasons why osteopaths don’t only treat the musculoskeletal complaint area mechanically but the whole patient with lots of attention to lifestyle, diet, healthy living, sports and emotional wellbeing.

Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS)

The criteria of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) are the following (≥2 criteria from 4):

• Body temperature ≥38°C or ≤36°C.

• Frequency of heartbeat rate > 90.

• Respiration rate >20/min or hyperventilation (PaCO2≤32 mm hl).

• Blood leukocytes >12x109/ml or <4x109/l, or the number or immature forms > 10%.

These criteria formalize the clinical diagnosing of sepsis if there is an inflammatory source.

SIRS is an inflammatory state that affects the whole body. It is the body’s response to an infectious or non-infectious insult.

Luc Peeters, MSc.Ost.