Suffering from a little muscle inflammation, work it out by pumping out another rep or two.

Exercise may be the key to reducing muscle inflammation, according to a study by a group of Duke University biomedical engineers who showed that human muscle has the ability to fight off damaging effects of chronic inflammation through working out.

The discovery by the team, which were recently published online in the journal Science Advances, was made through use of a first of its kind lab-grown engineered human muscle.

“Lots of processes are taking place throughout the human body during exercise, and it is difficult to tease apart which systems and cells are doing what inside an active person,” said Nenad Bursac, professor of biomedical engineering at Duke. “Our engineered muscle platform is modular, meaning we can mix and match various types of cells and tissue components if we want to. But in this case, we discovered that the muscle cells were capable of taking anti-inflammatory actions all on their own.”