What are Torn Ligaments?
Torn ligaments are strong, fibrous, stretchy tissue that connect one bone to another in the body, and forms a joint. These structures hold the bones together which enables you to walk and move about without falling over. They consist of strands collagen fibers, and their elasticity is arranged in crossing patterns to prevent the joint from becoming loose.
Ligaments support internal organs such as the kidneys, liver, bladder, uterus, diaphragm and breasts. They are also a very important component of the skeletal joints. They control the range of motion of a joint; stabilize the joint by binding the bone ends together to prevent dislocation and movement that may cause injury.
What Causes Ligament Injuries?
Ligaments are therefore extremely susceptible to injury; particularly the ankle and knee joints are often at risk. If a ligament is torn or sprained, the joint is either twisted or overstretched. The most commonly injured ligament of the knee is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which occurs when the knee joint is extended beyond its normal range.
Usually a snapping or cracking sound is heard when a ligament is torn which results in swelling bruising as well as pain if pressure is placed on the joint. This type of injury is very common amongst athletes, especially those who participate in sporting activities such as running, tennis, squash, football, basketball, baseball, and volleyball.
A sprain occurs when an athlete falls and lands on an outstretched arm, or when a person twists an ankle stepping off a curb. Sprains often occur in the upper or lower joints of the body, and can range from a minor tear to a ruptured ligament.
Help for Torn Ligaments
Natural treatments such as herbs are an excellent alternative for strengthening and repairing damaged ligaments. Herbs are safe and gentle to use on the body, and also beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing. Herbal ingredients such as Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil’s Claw) and Glucosamine sulphate contain powerful properties that help to promote joint and cartilage health. In addition, Boswellia serata encourages joint and muscle comfort while also acting as a digestive restorative.
More Information on Torn Ligaments
It is essential to stretch when participating in any sporting activity or training programme. Stretching helps to maintain the flexibility of the muscles and encourages the joint to move farther. Treatment of sprains and strains involves the RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rest the injured area and do not place pressure or try to move the joint. A splint, sling knee brace or ankle aircast may help to stabilize the damaged ligaments.
Ice the affected area to reduce swelling, and either ice or heat may be applied after 24 hours to relieve pain. Compress the joint by wrapping it in bandage to reduce the swelling and pain. Finally, keep the injured area elevated and rest as much as possible. Over-the-counter or prescription analgesics may relieve pain.
A gentle exercise program will help to regain strength and mobility or a physical therapist may also assist with rehabilitation. If the ligament is torn, the joint may be placed in plaster or in severe cases, surgery may be required. It is highly recommended that you avoid all strenuous activities during the recovery period.