The Injury Process
So how do these injuries happen? Most often it is an acute, traumatic episode like a fall, car accident or sports injury where ligaments/joints undergo excessive force that stretches them beyond their elastic tolerance. The other scenario is a repetitive strain type of injury like poor postural habits where progressive joint forces over time lead to lengthened ligaments. People that practice stretching exercises like yoga, gymnastics and dance are more susceptible to injuring ligaments. There are genetic and constitutional predispositions as well. Women are generally more flexible and have less muscle mass than men. Women also have hormones that effect ligament tension (SI joint pain being common for pregnant women as the result of ligament relaxation and the added stresses of carrying a fetus.)Young adults and children are generally “looser” and some people are just born with more joint mobility.
Ligament Injury Diagnosis & Rehab
The difficulty with treating these injuries first of all lies in the fact that minor to moderately severe ligament injuries are not easily identified with diagnostic equipment or appreciated by many health care providers as a significant component in muscluloskeletal pain scenarios. Treating ligament injuries with manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilization will be marginally successful without a rigorous exercise program. Chiropractors traditionally treat joint subluxation – joint misalignment by manipulating joints back into “proper” alignment. Ligaments are the primary restraint to joint movement and position. As stated above joint position is dependant on ligament tension, muscle function and nervous system function. A joint will not stay in proper alignment without addressing these multiple factors. [Read more…] about Ligament/Tendon Injuries & Injection Techniques (Part 2)