Tendon and ligament pain and injury will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Did you know, the most common age for ankle sprains in the US is between 15 and 19 years old?
When you sustain an injury, it’s hard to know how to treat it and when to consult a medical professional. This guide will help you understand the difference between a ligament and a tendon and how to take care of your injuries.
What Is The Difference Between a Tendon and a Ligament?
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Both tendons and ligaments are crucial for our bodies to move. They are made from soft tissue that is more compact than our muscles.
A tendon attaches muscles to bones, and a ligament attaches bone to bone. A tendon has a little more cushioning than a ligament. It is also different from the cartilage that protects your knee. When the cartilage wears down, it causes osteoarthritis, which is an entirely different condition.
Sprains and Strains
When you twist your ankle, knee, or wrist, you can sprain a ligament. Ligaments aren’t as supple as tendons, and a ligament injury is more likely to cause longer-term, recurring injuries or chronic conditions.
When you strain something, it is usually a tendon or muscle. This can occur from overuse or making sudden movements without taking an adequate warm-up.
It is important to remember that these injuries can occur to anyone at any time in their life. It is not only athletes who suffer from tendon and ligament injuries.
What Are The Treatments For Tendon and Ligament Injuries?
When you injure yourself, it’s essential you know how to get effectively treated. There are many available treatments, surgical and nonsurgical. The treatment you need will depend on the severity of your sprain or strain.
Your injury will usually be rated on a severity scale to decide what type of treatment you require. Here are some of the treatments.
1. Rest and Recovery
If you don’t require surgery, there isn’t much you can do to heal a tendon or ligament apart from wait. You need to rest, use the body part you have injured as little as possible, and wait for your body to heal.
2. Braces and Support
Supporting your injury is an integral part of the healing process. If you have a tendon injury on your knee (a prevalent injury), walking will be difficult. You will need a brace to support the knee, along with crutches.
Strengthening the muscles that surround your injury can help to heal the damage you have sustained. Your physiotherapist will show you exercises to work on strengthening your body. This will help ease joint pains and the pain you feel from your injury.
If you have a severe injury, then you will perhaps need surgery. This will help to restore the tendon or ligament and help to improve function once more.
Prevention is Also Important
Now you know how tendon and ligament injuries are treated, you can also prevent them from happening in the first place.
Warm-up properly before sports, don’t make any sudden movements, be careful not to fall and slip if it’s icy outside. Stretching after exercise is also essential to help avoid injury.
If you have an injury and are not sure what it is, you should always consult a doctor.
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