Probably, quite simply, not a lot. But I bet he knew what inflammation did – it made him stop using a joint or muscle, or whatever. Preventing him (or her) from using the area too much and allow him to repair… and carry on.
Today, we know that inflammation is a very complicated result of injury. But, as caveman couldn’t contest, it simply stopped him from using the joint.
The way that I see it, if Caveman fell over whilst out hunting and hurt his knee, his knee would become inflamed: it would get red, swollen and painful. And stop him from using it fully.
Now this may well mean the end of the hunting trip for him (unless he or his family were particularly hungry). But it also meant that he could have hobbled back to base without injuring his knee any further. He would give it time to repair and go out hunting again.
Which is great for the whole hungry family!
Nowadays this reaction seems a little over-exaggerated. Our bodies are GREAT at telling us what’s wrong. We KNOW what we should and shouldn’t be doing with a painful joint. But sometimes we need to listen a bit harder.
One thing we should keep in mind is that we have to clear away any inflammation before our body can actually heal itself. So, how can we do that?
Have a read about how to deal with inflammation here
Or if you like the caveman stuff, have a gander at this