Ligament & Tendon Problems
The ligaments connect bone to bone and are thick, band-like soft tissue structures that permit movement of the joint whilst maintaining stability (preventing dislocation of the joint) and protecting against excessive movement. Joint injuries are likely to result in ligament damage causing swelling, instability and pain.
Tendons are another soft tissue structure that connect muscles to bone. They are strong structures that can become painful following overuse, excessive overstretching, micro-trauma, tearing or rupturing. Tendons sometimes fail to heal independently or some people develop degenerative pathology which is commonly seen. Ligament and tendon injuries can be debilitating and therefore early assessment and treatment by your PAM Wellbeing physiotherapist will provide the best advice to facilitate an increased rate of recovery. Function can become severely affected should these types of injuries be left untreated and chronic pain issues can develop.
A torn tendon will cause pain and weakness in your affected joint. Some people may also experiencing a popping or clicking sensation when they move. Tendon tears are most common in people aged over 40. Tears that affect younger people are usually caused by an accident.
Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. Tendonitis is usually the result of irritation and inflammation caused by overuse, for example, tendonitis may affect someone whose job involves high volumes of repetitive overhead lifting or typing, or an athlete who competes in throwing sports or highly repetitive, aggressive jumping. If a tendon is repeatedly scraped against the bones, it can gradually weaken and will sometimes tear.
Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains are very common injuries that affect muscles and ligaments, often occurring for example in the ankle, if you change direction or speed suddenly, fall and land awkwardly, or through impact.
A sprain defines one or more of your ligaments having overstretched, twisted or torn. A strain defines muscle fibres having stretched or torn.
As well as pain, a sprain or strain can cause swelling, bruising and tenderness, and may result in you being unable to put weight through the joint.
Most sprains and strains can be managed at home using PRICE therapy (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) and painkillers, although with these conservative methods, recovery can extend over several months. Those that don’t recover affect your function. Your PAM Wellbeing physiotherapist can advise you about how to manage your ligament or tendon injuries back to full health, reducing your recovery time and expediting your return to function and activity.