Ligaments are tightly packed bands of collagen that attached from one bone to another.
The most common ligaments that are injured are in the Ankle Knee and Wrist.
They are injured when a joint is stretched to its limit and is not able to contend with the load, so it tears
Ligament injuries are classified in to Grades.
Grade 1: A few fibres of the ligament are torn, and you may see some mild to moderate bruising. Around the joint.
Grade 2: Less than 50% of the ligament is torn. There is moderate to severe bruising around the joint and pronounced swelling.
Grade 3: This is when more than 50% of the fibres are torn in the ligament and there is pronounced swelling and bruising.
Treatment of a ligament sprain is focused on controlling the swelling and bruising int the initial stages.
Using a PRICE protocl
Ice- Apply ice, Place ice in a ziplock bag with some water and place over the injury for 20 mins. Do this every hour or two post injury
Compression- Apply pressure with the ice to reduced the swelling
Elevation- Rest the limb above the heart to further reduce swelling
The joint may be strapped to prevent further strain on the ligament and give it a chance to rest. Early mobilisation in a moderately pain free range is key to recovery. Following on from this, strengthening exercises will be commenced and finally sports or work-related activities will be introduced to give that ligament every chance to recovery to its full potential.
Ligament injuries may still be painful months after injury. This is due to the ligament/joint not being moved or strengthened properly thus the brain will increase the pain levels around that joint to tell you something is wrong.
Proper rehab is key to successful recovery and prevention of further injuries