When a ligament is overstretched or torn, it results in what’s technically known as a sprain. Many sprains happen suddenly, either from a fall, awkward movement, or blow.
Sprains commonly happen in the ankle, knee, or wrist. For example, a misstep can cause you to twist your ankle in an awkward position, snapping a ligament and causing your ankle to be unstable or wobbly. You might hear a pop or feel a tear when the injury occurs. A wrist is often sprained when you reach out your extended hand to break a fall, only to have the wrist hyperextend back. That hyperextension overstretches the ligament.
Symptoms of a sprained ligament generally include pain, swelling, and bruising in the affected area. The joint may feel loose or weak and may not be able to bear weight. The intensity of your symptoms will vary depending on whether the ligament is overextended or actually torn.
Doctors classify sprains by grades, from grade 1 (a mild sprain with slight stretching of the ligament) to grade 3 (a complete tear of the ligament that makes the joint unstable).
Common treatment for ligament injuries
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