Calor, dolor, rubor, and tumor are the four classic signs of inflammation, as described by the Roman physician Celsus over 2,000 years ago. They are still used in modern medicine to help diagnose and manage a wide range of health conditions.
- Calor: Calor refers to the heat generated at the site of an inflamed area of the body. When an area becomes inflamed, blood flow to the area increases, and immune cells are recruited to the site of the injury or infection. This increased blood flow and immune cell activity cause the area to become warmer than the surrounding tissue.
- Dolor: Dolor refers to the pain or discomfort associated with an inflamed area of the body. Inflammation can irritate nerve endings and cause pain, stiffness, or tenderness.
- Rubor: Rubor refers to the redness that often occurs at the site of an inflamed area of the body. This is caused by an increase in blood flow to the area as the body tries to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the area to aid in healing.
- Tumor: Tumor refers to the swelling that often accompanies an inflamed area of the body. This is caused by an increase in fluid and immune cells in the area as the body tries to fight off infection or heal damaged tissue.
Together, these four classic signs of inflammation are a helpful tool for diagnosing and monitoring a wide range of health conditions, including infections, injuries, autoimmune disorders, and chronic diseases. While inflammation is a normal and necessary process in the body, it can also cause discomfort or lead to other health problems if it becomes chronic or is not properly managed. Treatment for inflammation typically involves addressing the underlying cause of the inflammation, as well as using anti-inflammatory medications or other interventions to manage symptoms.