Tendons and ligaments play an important part in stability and function of your musculoskelatal system.
So when you strain, sprain or tear a tendon or ligament, it takes longer to heal than muscle injuries.
When you injure one of them, it’s usually a sprain or a strain. What’s the difference? Ligaments are sprained and tendons are strained.
Fun stuff, eh?
What Are Tendons And Ligaments?
Tendons are tough and flexible bands of fibrous connective tissue and they’re the structure in your body that connects a muscle to a bone. Basically, tendons hold you together.
On the other hand, while ligaments are made of the same stuff, they connect bone to bone. They help guide the joints through an appropriate range of motion and protect the joint from overextending.
WebMD.com says this about ligaments:
Ligaments are bands of tough elastic tissue around your joints. They connect bone to bone, give your joints support, and limit their movement. You have ligaments around your knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and other joints. Stretching or tearing them can make your joints unstable.
As an example, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) attaches the thighbone to the shinbone, stabilizing the knee joint. If you’ve ever had a skiing accident or basketball injury, it’s usually the ACL that’s damaged.
And yes, it hurts. Many times, this type of injury requires surgery to repair it.
Tendonitis such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome occurs from overuse making the affected tendon inflamed, painful and swollen. VeryWellHealth.com explains it like this:
Specific tendons are prone to developing tendonitis, a problem where the tendon becomes irritated and inflamed. This causes pain when you move the muscle or bone. Tendonitis can develop as an overuse injury from repetitive motion, or be caused by stress or injury to the muscle or joint. Tendonitis often happens due to work activity or sports, but it can happen to anyone. You are at more risk of tendonitis as you get older.
So Why Do They Take Longer To Heal?
A simple explanation of why it takes tendons and ligaments longer to heal from an injury is blood and oxygen – or lack thereof. Muscles get much more blood and oxygen to help them heal from an injury. Tendons and ligaments get a lot less – and that’s important because they still need blood and nutrients to heal.
So what can you do to heal an injury to a tendon or ligament? (Yes, aromatherapy helps.)
This is one of those times where you really need to see your medical professional. If you can’t get to the doctor or emergency room as soon as an injury happens, here’s what HealthLine.com says that most doctors recommend. It’s called the RICE method:
In the meantime, however, whether it’s a strain or a sprain, immediate treatment is generally the same. Doctors recommend:
- Rest. Try to keep your injured body part immobilized until healing is well underway. This may be easier with the use of immobilization braces and crutches, if needed.
- Ice. Wrap ice in a towel to protect the skin and then ice the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, while you recover.
- Compression. Reduce swelling by wearing a compression bandage. Wrap the bandage so it’s snug but not uncomfortably tight.
- Elevation. Keeping your injured body part higher than your heart can help reduce swelling and promote healing.
- Medication. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers, taken as needed, may help reduce your pain and swelling.
Aromatherapy For Injured Tendons And Ligaments
There’s certain essential oils that promote circulation which helps to get blood and nutrients to damaged tendons and ligaments.
If for some reason you can’t take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories (commonly called NSAIDS), then apply a blend of essential oils such as Plai, Lavender, Helichrysum and Wintergreen in a lotion or carrier oil all around the injured area.
TendAid Blend for Tendons and Ligaments was created just for this type of injury. It addresses the inflamed area, provides pain relief and stimulates circulation to damaged tendons and ligaments for faster healing.
You still need to see your doctor but TendAid can help you during the healing process. It may even make physical therapy less painful.
Be well – and take care of your knees – you’ll need them when you get old!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.