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Can inflammation cause fever

can inflammation cause fever
Dr. Garrett Stroup. Physical Therapist in Roseburg Area.


Dr. Garrett C. Stroup

DPT, VRC - Owner and Founder

We help athletes and active adults regain control of their injury without expensive surgeries or medications, so they can keep going.

 Do Fevers Cause Inflammation? Understanding the Connection and What Happens After

Fevers and inflammation are both crucial aspects of the body’s defense mechanism against infections and injuries. While these processes are interconnected, their relationship is complex and not always linear. At OrMobility Physical Therapy & Performance in Roseburg, Oregon, we strive to help our clients understand their bodies better through comprehensive nutritional, sleep, and stress coaching. This blog delves into whether fevers can cause inflammation and if inflammation always reduces following a fever.

What is a Fever?

A fever is a temporary increase in body temperature, often due to an illness. It’s a natural response of the immune system to fight off pathogens like bacteria and viruses. The hypothalamus, a part of the brain, regulates body temperature and responds to infections by raising the body’s set point, resulting in a fever.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s response to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. It’s a protective mechanism involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators. Inflammation aims to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues, and establish a repair process.

The Connection Between Fever and Inflammation

While fever and inflammation often occur simultaneously, they are distinct processes with overlapping roles in the immune response.

  1. Fever as a Result of Inflammation: In many cases, fever is a byproduct of the inflammatory response. When the body detects an infection, it triggers the release of pyrogens (fever-inducing substances) such as cytokines. These pyrogens act on the hypothalamus to increase body temperature, leading to a fever. Therefore, inflammation often precedes and causes fever.
  2. Inflammation During a Fever: The elevated body temperature during a fever can enhance the efficiency of the immune system. For instance, higher temperatures can increase the activity of white blood cells and inhibit the growth of certain pathogens. This process involves inflammatory responses, as immune cells release cytokines to target and eliminate the infection.
  3. Role of Cytokines: Cytokines are proteins that regulate inflammation and immune responses. They play a critical role in both fever and inflammation. For example, interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) are cytokines that can induce fever and promote inflammation.

Does Inflammation Always Reduce Following a Fever?

Does Inflammation Always Reduce Following a Fever?

The relationship between fever and inflammation is not straightforward, and inflammation does not always reduce after a fever subsides. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Resolution of Inflammation: In an ideal scenario, once the underlying cause of the infection is eliminated, both fever and inflammation will resolve. The immune system downregulates the inflammatory response, and the body returns to homeostasis. Anti-inflammatory cytokines and other regulatory mechanisms help to reduce inflammation.
  2. Persistent Inflammation: In some cases, inflammation may persist even after the fever has subsided. This can occur if the infection is not entirely eradicated or if there is ongoing tissue damage. Chronic inflammation can lead to prolonged health issues and needs to be addressed with appropriate medical interventions.
  3. Secondary Inflammation: Sometimes, the initial infection and fever can lead to secondary inflammation, especially if there are complications or if the body’s immune response is overly aggressive. This secondary inflammation may not resolve immediately and could require additional treatment.
  4. Autoimmune Responses: In autoimmune diseases, the immune system mistakenly targets healthy tissues, causing chronic inflammation. In these conditions, inflammation can persist independently of infections and fevers, leading to long-term tissue damage and requiring ongoing management.

Strategies to Manage Inflammation Post-Fever

Effective management of inflammation following a fever involves a combination of medical treatment and lifestyle modifications. Here are some strategies to consider:

Nutritional Coaching

  • Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Consume a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts).
  • Hydration: Stay well-hydrated to support overall health and aid in the resolution of inflammation.

Regular Exercise

  • Moderate Physical Activity: Engage in regular moderate exercise to boost your immune system and reduce chronic inflammation. Activities like walking, cycling, and swimming are excellent options.
  • Avoid Overexertion: While exercise is beneficial, avoid strenuous activities immediately after recovering from a fever to prevent additional stress on your body.

Adequate Sleep

  • Consistent Sleep Schedule: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Adequate rest is crucial for the immune system to repair and reduce inflammation.
  • Sleep Hygiene: Maintain good sleep hygiene by creating a relaxing bedtime routine and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment.

Stress Management

  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Practice mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and inflammation. Techniques like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can also help.
  • Physical Relaxation Techniques: Yoga and tai chi are excellent for managing stress and reducing inflammation.

Medical Interventions

  • Medication: Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations regarding medications to manage inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids may be prescribed in certain cases.
  • Follow-Up Care: Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider can help monitor inflammation and ensure it is resolving appropriately.

Avoid Environmental Triggers

  • Allergens and Irritants: Identify and minimize exposure to allergens and irritants that can trigger or exacerbate inflammation.
  • Healthy Environment: Maintain a clean living environment to reduce the risk of infections and inflammation.


Understanding the relationship between fever and inflammation is essential for managing your health effectively. While fever often accompanies inflammation as part of the body’s defense mechanism, inflammation does not always resolve immediately after a fever. Persistent or chronic inflammation requires a multifaceted approach to reduce and manage it.

At OrMobility Physical Therapy & Performance in Roseburg, Oregon, we are committed to helping our clients achieve optimal health through personalized nutritional, sleep, and stress coaching. By adopting a healthy lifestyle and following appropriate medical guidance, you can effectively manage inflammation and improve your overall well-being.

If you’re looking to enhance your health and wellness through comprehensive coaching and support, contact us today. Our team of experts is here to guide you on your journey to better health.


  • Dinarello, C. A. “Fever and Inflammation.” New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 341, no. 2, 1999, pp. 1216-1225.
  • Medzhitov, R. “Origin and Physiological Roles of Inflammation.” Nature, vol. 454, no. 7203, 2008, pp. 428-435.
  • “The Role of Cytokines in Fever and Inflammation.” Journal of Clinical Immunology, vol. 25, no. 5, 2005, pp. 346-355.
  • “Chronic Inflammation and Its Effects on Health.” Journal of Clinical Pathology, vol. 72, no. 6, 2019, pp. 417-421.

By focusing on reducing inflammation and supporting your body’s natural healing processes, you can significantly improve your quality of life and health outcomes. At OrMobility Physical Therapy & Performance, we are here to support you every step of the way. Contact us to start your journey towards better health and wellness today.

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