Tendons and ligaments
While both tendons and ligaments are made of collagen cells, that’s where the
similarity ends. Ligaments are the tough connective tissues that link bone to bone by
a joint and provide shock absorbency. They are strong and flexible bands of tissue
but cannot be stretched. An overstretched ligament results in a sprain as
experienced during whiplash.
Tendons, meanwhile, are the whitish fibrous cords that link one end of a muscle to a
bone or other structure. Tendons look white as, unlike muscles, they don’t contain
many blood vessels.
A damaged ligament can often be surgically reattached to a joint bone, with mobility
returning relatively quickly. A tendon, however, is part of the neuromuscular system
and so electrical signals must be able to pass across the tendon to reach a muscle in
order for it to react. Treatment typically involves a rest period, with a support, and
then a gradual return to exercise.
It can be very difficult to be able to distinguish between a ligament and tendon injury
and sometimes the only way to do this is X-ray and also rule out any other
complications. The most important thing is to make sure you do not leave any injury
untreated to prevent further damage. This can be done through a variety of different
products available on the market such as supports, braces, taping, strapping, and
cold therapy treatments as well as taking other measures such as re-evaluating your
warm-up and cool down techniques and working with a physiotherapist with