Tendons and also ligaments are fibrous bands of connective tworry. Both play functions in stabilizing the skeleton and also enabling activity.

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Tendons and ligaments frequently sustain injuries, which commonly have actually comparable symptoms and treatments. Both of these forms of structure might obtain weaker through age, and also injury might end up being even more common as world acquire older.

In this write-up, we look at the distinctions between tendons and also ligaments, including possible injuries and exactly how to treat them.


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Share on PinterestTendons and ligaments both play a crucial duty in enabling activity.
Tendons and also ligaments are thick bands of tproblem comprising collagen. They both help stabilize body frameworks and also facilitate body activities.

The primary distinction between tendons and also ligaments is that they affix different parts of the anatomy. Tendons attach muscles to bones, while ligaments attach bones to other bones.

In enhancement, there are some various other minor anatomical differences.

Tendons contain bundles of fiber, which a kind of tissue referred to as endotenon surrounds. This tproblem allows bundles of tendon fibers to move versus one another, sustaining body movement.

Ligaments are commonly more elastic than tendons. Tbelow are two different types of ligament: white and also yellow. White ligaments are rich in sturdy collagen fibers, which are not incredibly elastic. Yellow ligaments contain more elastic fibers, which permit even more motion.

Ligaments are situated at joints, whereas tendons administer the connection in between muscle and also bone that permits the muscles to move various components of the body.

Ligaments and tendons have the right to stretch or tear relatively easily. The symptoms of tendon and also ligament injuries tend to be extremely equivalent.


Tendon injuries are relatively widespread, especially in human being that play sporting activities. An estimated 30–50% of sporting injuries involve tendon problems.

A widespread sports injury is a strain, which is damages to a tendon or the muscle to which it connects. The injury can be extremely painful. Severe strains might take weeks or months to heal.

Trauma from falling or unexpectedly twisting a tendon can cause a strain. People who are inactive might be even more breakable to strains, particularly if they suddenly come to be energetic or suffer muscle weakness bereason of intask.

Tendinitis happens when a tendon becomes inflamed and also irritated. Tendinitis deserve to construct complying with trauma, such as a strain, however it is many typically an overusage injury. People through tendinitis might notification that the location is painful, swollen, and also heat to the touch.

Tendinosis is a form of tear that is similar to a strain, but it generally happens over many kind of months or years because of overusage or incorrect athletic technique.

Subluxation happens when a tendon moves out of location. A perkid can hear a popping or snapping sound once it happens and also then suffer pain and weakness in the affected joint. Sometimes, the pain will come and also go. Subluxation is more likely in civilization with certain genetic anatomical differences, yet tendons deserve to additionally snap out of area as a result of an injury.

Tendon ruptures deserve to likewise occur. These injuries might be as a result of a combination of instant trauma and also chronic trauma. Ruptures commonly impact the Achilles tendons, biceps, knees, and also quadriceps.

Ligament injuries

A sprain occurs as soon as a ligament stretches or tears. It have the right to be a temporary, minor inconvenience or a debilitating injury that takes months to heal. The knees, ankles, and also wrists are highly delicate to sprains from drops, specifically if a person lands in an awkward position that stretches and also twists the ligament.

Doctors classify sprains into three categories:

Grade 1: Mild sprains in which the fibers of the ligament stretch, yet the ligament does not tear.Grade 2: Moderate sprains where the ligament partially tears.Grade 3: Severe sprains in which the ligament completely tears. This kind of sprain renders the joint entirely unsteady and often needs surgery.

Some kinds of ligament injury are even more widespread than others. For example, a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a prevalent form of knee sprain.

At some suggest after a ligament injury, the joint might feel unsecure. This instcapacity is incredibly widespread through sprained ankles and also knees.

Read more about the distinction between sprains and strains right here.

Other soft tproblem injuries

Aside from strains and sprains, human being can additionally bruise the tendons or ligaments, in addition to the neighboring tconcern.

Bursitis is a kind of inflammation that might feel choose an injury to the tendon or ligament. Bursitis happens once bursae— tiny, gel filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and also muscles near the joints — come to be inflamed. This inflammation frequently happens bereason of overusage or excessive tension on the joint. Many kind of human being suffer bursitis alongside tendinitis.


The treatments for ligament and also tendon injuries are very comparable.

For minor strains, sprains, inflammation, and various other injuries, the majority of medical professionals will recommend the RICE method:

Rest the injured area and stop putting weight on it.Ice the injury to alleviate swelling and also pain.Compress the injury with a compression garment or wrap to reduce swelling and also promote healing.Elevate the injury above the elevation of the heart to ease pain and minimize swelling.

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might help with the pain. However, it is important not to usage pain relievers as a way to overlook the pain and also return to everyday tasks. Pain relievers do not cure the underlying problem, and putting too a lot weight on an injured tendon or joint can make the injury worse.

For even more severe injuries, a person may require additional therapy. Some human being find relief from physical treatment, particularly if they endure from chronic or overusage injuries.

When a ligament or tendon tears completely, a medical professional might have to repair it surgically.

Bursitis and tendinitis frequently heal on their very own, however in some cases, an inflamed bursa deserve to become infected. When this happens, a physician can drain the fluid or also rerelocate the bursa.

Treatment for subluxation depends on its severity and the underlying cause. In many kind of cases, a perkid will require surgery and also physical treatment. If a perkid has an underlying problem that rises the hazard of subluxation, a doctor may recommfinish extra treatments or lifestyle changes.

Tendinitis frequently heals on its own, yet some world discover relief from corticosteroid injections. When tendinitis is chronic or major, a medical professional may recommend surgery to rerelocate inflamed or damaged tproblem.


Injuries to tendons and ligaments can be incredibly painful. A perboy may even mistake the injury for a damaged bone. It is extremely difficult to self-diagnose the injury or to tell the difference between tendon and also ligament injuries based on the symptoms alone.

Although many minor tendon and also ligament injuries heal on their very own, an injury that reasons significant pain or pain that does not lessen in time will call for therapy.

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A physician have the right to quickly diagnose the difficulty and also recommfinish an correct course of treatment. Untreated tendon and also ligament injuries boost the risk of both chronic pain and also secondary injuries. People need to seek prompt medical treatment quite than ignoring the pain.