Ligament strains are, just like torn ligaments, typical sports injuries: They are particularly common in sports such as football or skiing, but also while jogging. Affected are usually the ligaments in the upper ankle or knee. Typical symptoms of ligament stretch include slight swelling of the joint, and pain during movement and loading. If the affected joint is extensively spared after the injury, the duration of the healing process is usually not more than two weeks for a ligament extension.
Causes of ligament strain
If an extreme movement in a joint results in heavy straining of the ligaments as well as exceeding the normal range of motion, this can lead to ligament strain. The bands are heavily loaded, for example, when twisting the knee or when the foot is bent over. An external impact such as a blow or a kick can also be the cause of ligament distension.
In sports as well as in everyday life, ligament injuries can occur - sometimes even an incorrect placement of the foot or a slipping on wet soil is sufficient to cause a ligament strain.
Stretching of the ligaments is particularly common in the upper ankle joint - ie at the ankle. But they also occur in the knee joint, in the elbow joint, in the wrist and in the shoulder joint. Jogging, football, tennis, squash and skiing are some of the sports in which most ligament injuries occur.
Ligament Strain represents the slightest form of ligament injury - it is also referred to as first-degree ligament injury. Even more extreme stress can lead to ligament tearing or torn ligaments. A ligament extension is thus to be regarded as a precursor of these two ligament injuries.
Ligament extension: symptoms
Typical symptoms of ligament strain are pain when moving and straining the affected joint. Compared to a torn ligament, however, the pain is significantly less pronounced with a ligament stretch. Nonetheless, it is not always easy for a layman to distinguish from torn ligaments.
Also, the occurring swelling is less pronounced in this type of injury than in a ligament tear. This can be explained by the fact that ligament strain only leads to overstretching of the ligaments, but not to damage to the tissue. This is why hematomas, which are caused by bleeding into the tissue, are not among the typical symptoms of ligament injury.
In addition to pain and swelling, ligament distension also causes loss of function and strength in the affected joint. Standing and walking are usually possible because the joint remains stable in contrast to a ligament tear. However, the joint is not fully loadable.
Prevent ligament strain
An injury such as ligament contraction can never be reliably prevented, because a ligament injury can occur both in sports and in everyday life due to a sudden, extreme movement. However, targeted training can reduce the risk of ligament extension.
In order to minimize the risk of injury, it is first important to strengthen the muscles surrounding the respective joint. This additionally stabilizes the joint and relieves the ligaments. However, it is also advisable to train balance and coordination. Targeted coordination training can improve the interaction of the musculature and the running movement.
In order to train the muscles in the ankle, hopping on a mini trampoline or the one-legged position on a therapy gyroscope are recommended. In addition, the ankle muscles are also strengthened by the following exercise: stand with your forefoot on the edge of a step, lower your heels as far as possible, and then push yourself back up.
Function of the bands
The ligaments in the knee, foot or wrist run on the outside of the respective joint and are responsible for its stability. In addition, they are also important for the movement of the joint. While ligament distension preserves the stability of the affected joint as far as possible, ligament rupture results in a significant loss of joint stability. In both types of injury, it also leads to a limited functionality of the joint.
Ligaments consist of connective tissue cells and are supplied by small blood vessels, which are located between bones and ligaments. The ligaments in the joint are usually arranged undulating. An extreme movement of the joint and a strong stretching of the bands, however, this arrangement is destroyed. In order for the ligaments to return to their natural position, the joint needs a lot of rest after a ligament injury.