A ligament is a rigid structure, similar to a rope. Its role is to link two bones together and stabilize articulations.
A ligament can become damaged as a result of a movement of excessive amplitude, which can stretch the ligament beyond its capacity for resistance.
There are 3 degrees of sprain severity:
· 1st degree: simple over-stretch;
· 2nd degree: partial tear;
· 3rd degree: complete tear.
Signs & Symptoms:
· Pain during movement, occasionally while resting as well;
· Lack of stability in the case of 2nd or 3rd degree sprains;
· Loss of mobility.
An application of ice is the first action that should be taken following a sprain.
During the initial assessment, the physiotherapist will be able to determine which ligaments have been damaged and assess the severity of the injury. If necessary, the physiotherapist might refer a client to a medical professional for further investigation. It is indeed essential that sprains be distinguished from avulsion fractures or the likelihood of fracture.
Among others, treatment objectives will consist of inflammation control, pain management, range of motion recovery, strengthening, and the resumption of normal functions (return to activities).