Ligaments are tough, elastic fibrous bands that connect bone to bone. They are the reason why our joints remain intact during movement. Unfortunately, in the course of physical activity, misfortunes happen such as getting joint/ligament sprains.
Of all sprains, the most common are ankle and knee sprains. Sprained ligaments tend to swell rapidly and are painful. Being common in nature, many people just shake it off and believe it will heal on its own. This is a big mistake. If you don’t take sprains seriously, they can lead to complications such as chronic pain, joint instability, stiffness, swelling, and early onset arthritis.
What are Joint/Ligament Sprains?
A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments. The most common parts where sprains occur are in the ankle and knee. However, they can also occur in other joints such as wrists and thumbs.
Symptoms indicating sprain can include:
- Pain around the affected joint
- Difficulty using the joint or put weight on it
- Swelling, bruising, and tenderness
Swelling may occur soon after the injury but the bruising may show at a later time. In some cases, bruising may not show at all.
Sprains are graded from I to III. Grade I being the mildest and III being the most serious.
- Grade I sprain is when a ligament has been overstretched.
- Grade II sprain is when the ligaments are partially torn.
- Grade III sprain is when the ligament/ligaments are completely torn.
What Causes Joint/Ligament Sprains?
Sprains happen when the body is under physical stress. Muscles and joints are forced to perform movements even if they are not designed for it. A sprain may occur as a result of a single stressful incident, or it may gradually arise from repetitive movements. Usually, the mechanism of injury is due to ligaments being overstretched.
Falling, twisting, or getting hit can force a joint out of its normal position, which causes ligaments around the joint to stretch or tear. For instance, falling and landing on an arm, falling on the side of the foot, or twisting a knee can lead to sprains.
How Physiotherapy Helps with Joint/Ligament Sprains
A physiotherapist will thoroughly assess your injury, recommend suitable treatment strategies to prevent further damage, and provide a rehabilitation programme to strengthen the joint.
Treatments may include:
- Joint mobilisation
- Soft tissue massage
- Specific stretching and strengthening exercises
- Proprioceptive and balance training
- Specific exercise programme
Sprains can increase risk of re-injury and injury of the other side, particularly with ankle sprains. But with proper post-injury rehabilitation, the risk can be drastically reduced. Your physiotherapist will help fully restore your mobility and will teach you ways to prevent injuries from reoccurring. This can involve an exercise programme and possible use of gym equipment to improve your strength and coordination as well as restore movement lost in the joint.
If you have joint/ligament sprain, we urge you to talk to us as soon as possible. Addressing your problems early makes your sprain easier to treat and can help you avoid a costly, painful and potentially chronic complications.
Call us today on 92727359 to book your expert physiotherapy consultation!