Ligaments are the things that hold your joints together. They are usually quite short and very tough. A ligament injury is normally caused by quite strong trauma.
When damaged there is usually bruising and inflammation in the area. In a sprained ankle quite often you’ll find pooling of blood (bruising) along the bottom edge of the foot. The damage isn’t always quite so obvious – sometimes it’s just painful. Normally, this pain is made worse by taking the joint into the position where it was injured.
The ligaments that are most commonly damaged are in the ankle, the knee, and the elbow, but back and neck ligaments can be strained too.
Treatment usually involves rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). This is followed by ultrasound treatments, and hands-on therapy to get the joints moving, reduce any tightness in the muscles in same area, and help the fascia heal.
Most ligament injuries will require some kind of rehabilitation afterwards to help the limb return to normal movement.
The kind of neuro-muscular rehab that we use at the clinic should also help neurological feedback to and from the area. This means you should end up using the area correctly afterwards.
I run anatomy courses for other osteopaths and think that ligaments are one of the most beautiful structures in the body!Claire Short (Osteopath and Clinic Director)