Ligaments within the body are what connect our joints and bones together. They are very flexible, and without them a person would not be able to move right. Another job of the ligaments is they act very similar to how shock absorbers in a car work to absorb hard impacts. This absorbency prevents injury from occurring from the movements of the joints and bones during strenuous activities. When they are stretched beyond their limit, injuries such as a tear or sprains will often occur.
Tendons within the body work very much like the ligaments do, and the material they are made of is also similar as well. The difference in the tendons is while ligaments connect joints and bones, they connect muscles within the body to the bones. This is what allows for smooth movement between the bones and the muscles of the body. While tendons do offer a certain amount of flexibility, they can also suffer injury when they are over-stretched.
A majority of injuries that occur to the ligaments and tendons are from vigorous sports activities. Some of the most common ligament and tendon injuries that can occur to various areas of the body are as follows:
- AC injuries – This type of injury involves the acromioclavicular ligament. One of the most common symptoms that are associated with AC injuries includes movement that is restricted because of the severe pain that is caused. Laxity, swelling, and pain of the shoulder joint are also very common. The severity of injury and symptoms are factors that are greatly determined by the amount of damage that has occurred.
- Elbow tendinitis – This type of injury involves the medial or middle and lateral or side tendons that are called epicondyles tendons. Common names that most people know this type of injury to be called is golfers or tennis elbow. This type of injury can occur quite often and it is known to cause a great deal of stiffness and inflammation. Some of the other symptoms that are associated with elbow tendinitis include joint stiffness, pain and discomfort, a decreased level in range of motion, and swelling.
- UCL or LCL injuries – This type of injury to the elbow involves the ulnar and the lateral collateral ligaments. Some of the most common symptoms that are associated with this injury include excess pain when a fist is made, swelling that is noticed along the inner side of the elbow, and pain. Bruising can also occur if the ligament has been ruptured.
- Achilles tendon injuries – The muscles of the lower leg and the heel are connected by the Achilles tendon. A popping sound is often heard when a tear occurs to the Achilles tendon. This popping is frequently followed by an inability to stand on the injured leg and an extreme level of pain.
- ACL injuries – This type of injury involves the anterior cruciate ligament, and there are four that help to stabilize a person’s knee. Like an Achilles tendon injury, many people often also hear a popping noise when an ACL injury occurs. This is generally followed by the inability to straighten the injured leg, swelling, and a large amount of pain.