Ligament and Cartilage Injuries


As I said in the previous blog, most of the injuries we see are to the ligaments and cartilage. Even a vertebra that is “out” has a ligament and cartilage injury component that must be addressed, including the inflammation that attends the injury and starts the healing and recovery process.


It is, for this reason, we do not recommend heat and stretching- the heat adds fuel to the inflammatory process which is the thing that is causing the pain, and because the ligaments and cartilage are involved these tissues are only further injured with stretching. Think of the last time you twisted an ankle- would you have wanted someone to twist it around further? Probably not.


We always recommend ice, avoid stretching and remain active within reason, like walking and moving around. This should make a person feel better. The only time activity would be in question would be if activity actually made you feel worse. Yes, it will hurt some at first, but you should feel better with motion if only for a short time. Rest, and then get moving again.


Sometimes the ligaments are too injured to support the injured joint, or back and bracing is a good idea, but bracing is only important so the person can resume walking and motion. Get the idea? If the ligament is too injured to support, the brace will help as the person moves. Motion is always necessary- not hikes to Mt. Everest, but just moving around the house, the office or down the street. This is necessary for the injury to heal.


You really can’t go wrong with ice. It will help or it won’t, whereas heat will either help or it will make you worse. Err on the side of the ice.


Just so I mention it, and as will be discussed later, managing the inflammation and getting it to resolve is paramount! There are two types of inflammation: Screaming inflammation and Silent inflammation.


Screaming hurts like crazy and can be the jolty, stabby pain a person feels. This is obvious when you have it and when it’s gone. Silent inflammation is a little different- you don’t feel it, but the inflammatory process continues and in time this “smoldering” destroys the bones, the joints, the ligaments, and tendons. This is what eventually becomes what people call arthritis.


There are ways to manage inflammation and get the process and injured tissue to resolve, and this is why Paragon Chiropractic is vital when you’ve injured yourself and, despite your best efforts to doctor yourself, the situation is staying the same, or worsening.


Alright, well I’ll write a few more blogs on this topic. It’s kind of interesting, but more importantly, they will give you the information you need to help yourself and self-manage your injuries!