A ligament injury, or sprain, occurs when ligaments (the tissues that hold bones together) are suddenly stretched or torn. Most sprains happen around joints such as the ankles, knees or fingers. A sprain normally takes six to eight weeks to heal; severe sprains may take longer and may involve treatment to complete the recovery process.
How does a ligament injury or sprain develop?
Sprains are usually caused by twisting injuries. For example, an ankle may be twisted or rotated during rapid pivoting in sports such as soccer and basketball, or by stepping off of a curb or step. Sometimes a moderate or severe sprain causes problems even after the ligament has healed. A small nodule can develop in the affected ligament and cause constant friction in the joint, leading to chronic inflammation. The nerve that travels over the ligament may also be damaged, resulting in pain and tingling. Occasionally, the shock of a severe sprain causes blood vessels to spasm, reducing blood flow to the area. This condition is called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome.
What are the symptoms of a ligament injury or sprain?
The severity and symptoms of a sprain depends on the degree of stretching or tearing of the ligaments. In a grade 1 sprain, the ligaments may stretch, but they don’t actually tear. Although the joint may not hurt or swell very much, a mild sprain can increase the risk of a repeat injury. With a grade 2 sprain, the ligament tears partially. Swelling and bruising are common, and use of the joint is usually painful and difficult. With a severe grade 3 sprain, a ligament tears completely, causing swelling and sometimes bleeding under the skin. As a result, the joint is unstable and unable to bear weight.
Conventional medical treatments may help relieve the symptoms of a sprain or ligament injury, but they often do not address the root of the problem. By strengthening structural weaknesses in the body, as natural medicine treatments like Prolotherapy do, pain associated with a sprain or ligament injury may be alleviated permanently.
The treatment regimens suggested here are based on the experience of Caring Medical. They do not apply to every case or condition. A person using these recommendations without the aid of a personal physician does so at their own risk.
This information is provided for informational purposes only. It is essential to have your condition evaluated by your own personal physician.
For an appointment with Ross Hauser, M.D., please call 708-848-7789. or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.