Joint - Ligament Sprains
Heal Your Sprain with PEACE & LOVE!
The ligaments in your joints are like tough elastic bands, both stretchy and durable. They prevent excessive movement of your joints.
When we talk about joint sprains, we are talking about the joint moving excessively and damaging your ligaments (there can also be some bone bruising and joint inflammation too).
Joints that are commonly sprained include the ankle, knee, fingers, wrists and AC joint (in the shoulder)
If one or more of your ligaments in these joints gets damaged, this will affect the injured area’s stability and with more severe injury, the affected area will become completely unstable.
If a ligament is completely torn, as well as producing some extremely painful symptoms, there’s a possibility that surgery will be required.
Why is it important to get an assessment for your sprain?
The first step is to have it assessed by a sports physio.
Based on their assessment findings, you then must engage in a progressive treatment and rehab plan with the aim of each stage to maximise the healing and stability of your joint and surrounding structures.
Thankfully, the majority of ligament injuries don’t require surgery despite significant pain and disability.
It is important to get your joint assessed to rule out the need for a referral for an X-ray or MRI scan.
If there is a chance of fracture, an X-ray would be indicated. If there is a chance of severe ligament damage, an MRI may be warranted. Having your injured joint assessed as soon as possible is very important.
If fracture and severe damage are ruled out, you need to start by giving yourself some PEACE & LOVE.
Craig talks you through these main points here….
Protect – avoid activities and movement that increase pain during the first days after injury.
Elevate – elevate the injured limb higher than the heart as often as possible.
Avoid – avoid taking anti-inflammatories medication excessively as they can reduce tissue healing.
Compress – use elasticated taping or bandages to reduce swelling in appropriate areas.
Educate – your body knows best! Avoid unnecessary passive treatments and let time run its course.
Load – let pain guide your gradual return to normal activities. Appropriate loading will help increase healing.
Optimism – remain confident and positive throughout recovery to experience the best possible.
Vascularisation – choose pain-free cardiovascular activities to increase blood flow for repairing tissues.
Exercise – restore mobility, strength, and proprioception by adopting an active approach to recovery.
The PEACE part of this is something you can easily do yourself and is very important in the first few days after a sprained joint.
Let Us Show You Some LOVE!
The LOVE part is where we come in.
Having your joint assessed to find out what part of the joint and which ligaments are damaged, is very important as this will guide your loading, rehabilitation and exercise.
Additionally, testing out how your body moves and the strength & stability of surrounding muscles can help identify potential root causes of the sprain, especially if you become injured without any contact.
People often wait too long after a sprained joint to start their strength, stability & motor control exercises.
However, you need to ensure that you work the correct muscles and movements.
There are many different exercises of varying difficulty that can help; one needs to start with a lower level and build that up over the course of a few weeks/months.
Strengthening will start with isolated muscles and progress to more functional movements related to your sport.
Completing a comprehensive rehab program is vitally important to get you back as early as possible, performing at your best and preventing re-injury.
The last point is the most important there.
Previous injury is the biggest factor for any joint sprain.
This is why rehab and ongoing strengthening is so important.
Carrying A New Or Old Sprain?
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