A ligament tear is the most common injury in young people who are active athletes or practice some sort of sport. Ligaments help connect one bone to the other. These are thick elastic bands of tissue that are responsible for supporting the bones and ensuring the correct movement of the same. Any damage to these bands of tissue will end up restricting the movement of the joint. As an athlete or sportsperson, you cannot really afford to get sidelined due to such injuries. It is, therefore, essential that you know the prevention tips and exercises for these injuries. In case you are still met with an accident, you must know things like knee or ankle ligament tear recovery time and how exercises can help heal the same.
In this article, we will be sharing with you the causes of ligament tear injuries, how you can prevent these injuries with a few simple tips and exercises, and how to heal these injuries, for example, by using a knee brace for ligament tears. By the end of this article, you will have all the required information on ligament tear injuries that will be useful for you. Read ahead to know more.
Causes Of Ligament Tear
Before we take a look at the prevention and healing tips for an ACL ligament tear, let us understand the causes of an ACL ligament tear. This will help us identify the right preventive measures and recovery methods as well.
The twisting of your bone joints is the major cause of a ligament tear injury. This could be because of a hard or awkward landing when you jump. An ankle ligament tear can happen due to walking or running and twisting the ankle joint. Ligament tear injuries are usually caused when your ligaments encounter some form of trauma in the state of being fully stretched.
In the following sections, we will be looking at how exercises can help prevent and treat ligament tear injuries, be it a knee, ankle, or shoulder ligament tear.
Ligament Tear Prevention Tips And Exercises
As a sportsperson, you always follow the rules and consider various factors to ensure safety and fair play. This helps you avoid major injuries and keeps you fit for matches or games. To avoid ligament tear injuries, too, you should practice some exercises and follow some simple tips. In this section, we will be looking at the tips and prevention for a knee, ankle, and shoulder ligament tear. You can easily manage these in your regular training schedule so as to avoid any accidents and injuries on the field or in general.
Always Warm Up Before Playing
This is one of the most basic tips that every sportsperson or athlete knows very well. Warming up is not just an essential practice before the game but also before your training sessions. You must also warm up properly before working out or exercising. Warming up is an important step to begin your physical activity because it helps circulate blood to your bones and muscles. This also loosens your joints leading to injury prevention in most cases. Aerobic activity, dynamic flexibility, and movement preparation can be the three steps of your warm-up routine to prevent injury.
Strengthen Your Hamstrings And Quadriceps
To prevent injury, it is important that you strengthen your leg muscles. Strengthening the muscles that support the knee or ankle joints will help reduce the chances of an ACL ligament tear. With the right training and exercises, this is very much possible. Let us take a look at some exercises you can do to strengthen your hamstrings, quadriceps, and the muscles connecting the femur to the tibia.
- Squats are exercises that will help strengthen your hamstrings and quadriceps and improve your balance.
- Walking Lunges help strengthen your quadriceps, which are your thigh muscles.
- Hamstring Leans, as the name suggests, are good for strengthening the muscles in the back of your thighs or your hamstrings.
- Single Toe Raises are yet another set of exercises that help improve balance and strengthen the calf muscles.
- Split Jumps are also known to increase leg muscle strength.
The next important aspect of preventing ligament tear injuries is to ensure that you stretch the different parts of your body before getting into any heavy action. Flexibility plays a major role in reducing the risk of injuries that involve the tearing of the ligaments. It helps your body be freer and also move easily as you maintain an ideal form. Thighs, calves, and hips are the parts of your body that need stretching. Some stretching exercises that you can practice before your game or your training sessions are abductors and hip flexors.
In the previous tips about developing strength and stretching to avoid an ankle, shoulder, or knee ligament tear, we have also mentioned the aspect of balance. Balancing is extremely important, and one of your goals when warming up and preparing for a game should be improving your balance. Being off-balance can be the sole reason for many injuries. Some good ways to improve your balance with a regular practice are single-leg ball passes, single-leg multiplanar reach with arm and leg, and juggling.
The following steps will help you practice this routine to prevent any ligament tear injuries”
- Start with running to a line or cone. Plant your outside foot without letting your knee collapse inwards. Then change your direction.
- Move in different patterns, like going front to back or side to side, or diagonally.
- Start at a slow speed.
- Maintain a good position and focus on the same.
- Increase your pace slowly.
- Focus on your technique.
An additional tip here is to remember HIPS over KNEES over HEELS.
Jumping And Landing Safely
Jumping and landing in the wrong way can lead to serious ligament tear injuries. Let us take a look at the tips you can follow to ensure that you land safely every time you jump.
- Jump upwards in a straight line several times. Spring up and land with your feet and knees pointing straight ahead. Bend your knees softly each time when landing.
- Maintain your form.
- Knees bent, chest high, and buttock back.
- Jump up to catch a ball and land smoothly.
- Jump over a specific line or a cone, or a ball.
- Stick to your landing.
By following the above-listed tips, you will be able to prevent any major ligament tear injuries. In the following section, we will look at the exercises that will benefit rehabilitation post an ACL ligament tear.
Post ACL Rehab Exercises
There are multiple ways of recovering from a knee ligament tear. Using a knee brace for ligament tear injuries is one of them. For the rehabilitation process, exercises help. Here is a list of the ACL ligament tear rehab exercises:
- Lie down flat on your back.
- Extend your legs and keep your feet slightly apart.
- Slide one leg towards your buttocks.
- Go as close as you can.
- Return to the initial position.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Hold a chair or any other supportive surface to maintain your balance.
- Place equal weights on both your feet.
- Slowly raise both your heels together.
- Bring back both heels together.
- Repeat as you increase your number of sets.
Prone Knee Flexion
- Lie down in face down position.
- Slowly bend your knees as you bring your foot towards your buttocks.
- Stop when you feel pain or stretch in your legs or back.
- Return to the initial position.
Standing On One Leg
This is a balancing exercise for knee ligament tear injuries.
- Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
- Balance your weight equally on both legs and put your hands on your hips.
- Lift your left leg while you bend it backward on the knees.
- Hold this position.
- Return to the initial position.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Stand straight with feet slightly apart.
- Bend your legs as you push your buttocks back at a 45 degrees angle.
- Do not go into a full sitting position.
- Extend both your arms forward.
- Hold this posture for a second.
- Pushing through your heels, slowly push your body back up.
Exercise for knee ligament tear injuries is helpful in building back strength, balance, and flexibility and will help you get back on the field again.
With this, we conclude this article on ligament tear injuries. In the previous sections of this article, we have discussed this type of injury in detail and looked at the different types of ligament tears like knee, ankle, or should ligament tears. You can always take precautionary measures to avoid such injuries and also recover from a ligament tear with the help of exercises. We hope that this article will be helpful for all athletes and sportspersons to take the right preventive measures and recover from any such injuries in the future.
Ligament tear injuries are highly common in young athletes and sportspersons. You must have all the information about the same, and here as some common questions that you might also have regarding this type of injury. For your convenience, we have answered these questions.
What is ligament tear?
Ligaments are connective tissues that support and limit the joint’s movement. Any damage to the ligaments makes the joint unstable and restricts pivoting, turning, and twisting of the joint. Ligament tear is caused by sports injuries.
Can ligament tear heal itself?
A ligament tear injury, like a knee or ankle or shoulder ligament tear injury, cannot completely heal itself. You will need medical assistance to ensure pain relief and make the condition of the injury better. In most cases, complete healing is possible only with surgery.
How to treat ligament tear?
A ligament tear injury can be treated completely only with surgery but there are various ways of getting some relief from a ligament tear injury at home. Some of the methods that you can use for the same are:
- Ice packs
- Pain killers
- Exercises for strengthening the muscles
- Activity limitation
- Knee brace for a knee ligament tear
How serious is ligament tear?
A knee ligament tear or any other kind of ligament tear happens due to a sports injury. This type of injury limits the movement of the joint. A ligament tear injury makes your joint very painful and unstable. As an athlete, this will not be an ideal situation for you as if not treated with surgery, you might have to ensure continuous care and precautions for your joints. There might be a need to replace or repair the ligament with the help of surgery.
Can you walk with a ligament tear?
Yes, you can walk with a knee or ankle ligament tear. If there is no pain or swelling or any other injury, you can walk normally and also go up and down the stairs.