Understanding and Managing Swelling

Dr. Kelly Starrett details some valuable insights on a topic that often causes confusion among those dealing with chronic pain or recovering from surgery – understanding swelling vs. inflammation. Our exploration will navigate the nuances of these terms and shed light on the critical role that H-Wave can play in effectively managing swelling to enhance the recovery process.

Doctor managing swelling in patients lower extremities
Swelling in patients lower extremities, being treated by doctor.

Breaking Down Swelling and Inflammation

Swelling and inflammation are commonly misunderstood terms, and it is essential to distinguish between the two. Often arising as a natural response to injury, be it from surgery, tissue trauma, or fractures, swelling manifests as a tangible outcome of the body’s intricate healing mechanism. Dr. Starrett accentuates the significance of inflammation, portraying it as a pivotal element in the healing process. This intricate cascade of events acts as a signaling mechanism, orchestrating the arrival of specialized cells to the affected area. These cells, integral to the repair and recovery process, work synergistically to restore the body to its optimal state. It is through this intricate dance of swelling and inflammation that the body’s innate ability to heal itself is brought into focus.

The Inflammatory Cascade and Its Duration

After an injury or surgery, the inflammatory cascade is set in motion, with its duration ranging from three to 13 days, depending on factors like severity and individual differences. Understanding this timeframe is crucial, as it helps individuals gauge the normal course of the healing process. For instance, a minor sprain may resolve quickly, while post-surgery inflammation might persist for a couple of weeks.

The Role of Swelling in Healing

While swelling is a natural byproduct of the inflammatory cascade, it becomes imperative to manage it effectively. The challenge arises when the body fails to evacuate excess fluids through the lymphatic system, leading to persistent swelling. This is where H-Wave comes into play, promoting blood flow and muscle contraction to not only bring nutrients to the affected area but also facilitate the removal of lymphatic waste – a critical aspect of the recovery process.

H-Wave’s Contribution to Swelling Management

One of the unique benefits of H-Wave is its ability to stimulate muscle contraction, which aids in the evacuation of waste fluids from the lymphatic system. Dr. Starrett emphasizes the importance of this process, especially in cases where the body struggles to naturally eliminate swelling. By using H-Wave, individuals can actively participate in managing the aftermath of the inflammatory response, promoting a smoother and more effective recovery.

Strategies for Effective Swelling Management

Dr. Starrett recommends a proactive approach to understanding and managing swelling, especially for those dealing with recent injuries or surgeries. By utilizing H-Wave to stimulate muscle contraction, individuals can ensure a more efficient evacuation of lymphatic waste, preventing the build-up of excess fluids. This approach can be applied both preventatively, for those anticipating an inflammatory response, and reactively, for those already experiencing swelling.


In the journey of recovery from chronic pain, surgery, or injuries, understanding and managing the nuances of swelling and inflammation is key. H-Wave offers a valuable solution by not only addressing these issues but also empowering individuals to actively participate in their healing process. By incorporating H-Wave treatments into your recovery plan, you can take significant strides towards effective swelling management and overall improved well-being. Remember, managing swelling is not just about addressing the symptoms but actively promoting the body’s natural healing response for long-lasting results.

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