Inflammation is how the human body “sends in the troops.” When an injury occurs, let’s say a broken bone, the area swells. That is the white blood cells showing up to clean and heal and the red blood cells bringing extra oxygen to help with healing. At the same time, that swelling is helping to stabilize the injured area to prevent further injury. The old school response to ice everything to reduce swelling has been debunked because we WANT those healing troops in there doing their job. Unless the swelling is SO bad that it’s causing additional pain. There is also the heat for 20, ice for 20 option which is thought to “pump” blood through the area. I haven’t read up on the latest science of that to say yay or nay about it. But I have used it in my past life as an athlete.
Inflammation when you have a cold works the same way. Extra troops are running around your body finding, capturing and killing invaders.
There are A LOT of reasons that our inflammation response could go awry, which can range from uncomfortable (allergies) to problematic (autoimmune diseases). Dairy and too much Omega-6 are two things that increase inflammation. Of course if we have a chronic problem, a bum knee for example, our body’s plan to “fix” it with the normal troops doesn’t work. Then the inflammation and stiffness are just annoying.
That’s the really short answer as to how inflammation is a good and necessary thing for us, under the right circumstances. I hope that is helpful!