This is a good question and it ties in with a recent "discovery" that shows how the Rhino Virus (cold) is not the symptoms it causes, ie: runny nose, sneezing and packed up sinuses. These are functions of the immune response to the presence of the virus. I've always advocated riding these symptoms out because I knew it was the body's response to a viral invasion. When you quell the symptoms of an immune response you are basically prolonging the effects the virus is causing.If inflammation is a healing process then why do we try to suppress it via ice and drugs (ibuprofen). After a sports injury everyone says ice it and take an ibuprofen. Doesn't the body know what is best?
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/symptoms/Inflammation/hic_Inflammation_What_You_Need_To_Know.aspxWhen inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues in an attempt to rid the body of foreign substances. This release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area and may result in redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause leakage of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling. The inflammatory process may stimulate nerves and cause pain.
That's a perfect example. SOME inflammation can speed up the healing, but too much can hinder it. You have to find the right amount, basically.Take my broken arm, for example, the doctor wanted to reduce inflamation and swelling to minimize pressure on veins and nerves, which could cause more damage.