Ligaments are one of those tissues that everyone has heard of. Unfortunately, few know what they are or what they do. Ligaments are the ELASTIC COLLAGEN-BASED CONNECTIVE TISSUE that connects bones to other bones. Ligaments come in “bands” (more like FASCIA) as opposed to “chords” (like MUSCLES or TENDONS).
Tendons are the least elastic of the “elastic” connective tissues, Fascia is the most elastic, with ligaments falling somewhere in the middle. Each individual’s natural level of ligamentous elasticity is dramatically different. We have all seen those people who are incredibly stiff and bound up, as well as those who are “DOUBLE JOINTED“.
Ligament injury causes both ends of the spectrum as far as Range-of-Motion is concerned. Joints can become either extremely lax, or, more often, with incorrect healing processes they end up restricted due to the accumulation of the SCAR TISSUE the medical community refers to as FIBROSIS. In extreme cases, ligaments can actually be torn off of the bones (Avulsion Fracture). Rather than the ligament itself being torn in half, the Velcro-like “hooks” that anchor the ligament to the bone (Sharpey’s fibers) are ripped out, bringing tiny chunks with.