Ligament pain

What Causes Ligament Pain?

Pain of the ligaments is usually caused by mechanical (non-inflammatory) problems. Examples of mechanical causes of ligament pain include:

  • Overstretching, which may happens during activities such as exercise, horseback riding, gardening, cleaning, and so on.
  • Excessive physical activity (running, weight lifting, etc.) can cause tiny tears in the ligaments.
  • Poor posture while sitting or standing can compress the tissues and lead to poor circulation.
  • Traumatic injuries, such as a car accident, a fall, or a sports injury, can damage the ligaments.

Ligament pain can also be caused by inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

Signs and Symptoms of Ligament Pain

The most common symptoms of ligament pain are stiffness and soreness in the affected area, which can range from mild to severe. Some people may experience difficulty moving the affected joint due to pain or stiffness. Other signs and symptoms of ligament injury can include:

  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Pain with movement and/or rest
  • Heat/Redness around the affected joint
  • Decreased range of motion in the affected joint
  • Muscle spasms in the area
  • Weakness in the area

Diagnosing and Treating Ligament Pain

If you are experiencing ligament pain, it is important to visit your doctor or physical therapist to determine the cause of the pain. The doctor may conduct a physical exam or order diagnostic tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound to identify the source of the pain. Depending on the severity of the injury, the doctor may prescribe physical therapy, medications, lifestyle changes, and/or surgery.

If you have ligament pain, it is important to rest the affected area and avoid activities that may aggravate the injury. Your doctor may also recommend ice, heat, compression, and/or elevation to reduce swelling and pain. You may also benefit from a course of physical therapy, which can help strengthen the muscles and ligaments to prevent future injuries.