Tendons and Ligaments: A tendon is a fibrous flexible, strong tissue similar to a rope that attaches the muscles to the bones. Tendons allow for the movement of the body’s limbs and help prevent muscle injury by absorbing muscles’ impact when running, jumping, or performing other actions. Ligaments are bands of solid elastic tissue that connect bone to bone, hold structures together and keep them stable, support the joints and limit their movement.
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A tendon that gets overstretched or torn is known as a strain. Common areas affected by strains are the:
Strains often result from repetitive work movements, intense physical activity, and sports. Individuals who overuse their bodies without proper rest and muscle repair recovery have an increased risk of injury. Symptoms include:
A ligament that gets overstretched or torn results in a sprain. Sprains can happen suddenly from a fall, awkward movement, or trauma. Sprains commonly occur in the:
Symptoms of a sprained ligament include:
The intensity of symptoms varies depending on whether the ligament is overextended or torn. Sprains are classified by grade:
Tendons and ligaments do not receive full blood circulation like other soft tissues. Depending on the severity of the injury, and the slower transfer of oxygen and nutrients, ligament and tendon injuries can take six to twelve weeks to heal, and repeatedly stressing the injured area from overuse can extend recovery. Chiropractic adjustments, and massage therapy, combined with corrective exercises and stretches, will reduce inflammation, decrease pain, improve the range of motion, increase nerve and muscle function, and strengthen the muscles. Chiropractic treatment involves:
Childress, Marc A, and Anthony Beutler. “Management of chronic tendon injuries.” American family physician vol. 87,7 (2013): 486-90.
Fenwick, Steven A et al. “The vasculature and its role in the damaged and healing tendon.” Arthritis research vol. 4,4 (2002): 252-60. doi:10.1186/ar416
Leong, Natalie L et al. “Tendon and Ligament Healing and Current Approaches to Tendon and Ligament Regeneration.” Journal of orthopedic research: official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society vol. 38,1 (2020): 7-12. doi:10.1002/jor.24475
Scalcione, Luke R et al. “The athlete’s hand: ligament and tendon injury.” Seminars in musculoskeletal radiology vol. 16,4 (2012): 338-49. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1327007
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