Ligaments are short lengths of tough, flexible tissue comprising of many individual fibres that connect the bones of your body together. Your ligaments hold the nerve receptors responsible for ‘proprioception’, the sense of the relative position of adjacent parts of the body, and awareness of the intensity employed in movement. These receptors work by sending signals to the brain to ensure you are optimally balanced, but if you have suffered a ligament sprain this function can be impaired and the relevant joint will feel unstable. You may experience a clicking sensation or the feeling that the relevant joint is giving way, especially with spontaneous movements.
Ligament Sprain Gradings
Ligament sprains fall into the following categories which will indicate the treatment methods and recovery time you require:
- Grade 1 is a mild tear of individual ligament fibres that normally heals in just 2-3 weeks
- Grade 2 describes a moderate but not a total tear of the ligament tissue, usually healing within 3 -6 weeks
- Grade 3 refers to a complete rupture of the ligament which may necessitate surgery depending on the level of function you require
In our assessment, we will establish the integrity of the joint in order to let you know quickly when you can return to training and how much time off-play will see you recover the fastest.
Ligament Pain Treatments
Your first line of treatment should always follow the R.I.C.E acronym – rest, ice, compression and elevation, whilst acute treatment can incorporate acupuncture, therapeutic ultrasound, or correcting abnormal biomechanical movements with bracing before progressing to the pivotally important proprioceptive rehabilitation stage of treatment. Without professional management, people commonly omit this stage, resulting in a joint with poor balance and residual rigidity. Lastly, we will focus on restoring full movement to the joint with soft tissue massage, stretches or joint manipulations as appropriate, together with exercises to further strengthen the muscle tissue to provide all the additional support the joint will need going forward.
It is worth noting that we specialize in delivering functional rehabilitation programs that both encourage a prompt return to sports and diminish the likelihood of similar injury and re-injury in the future, leaving you free to focus on the sport you are passionate about.
Patients welcome from all insurance providers