Ligaments & tendons

People easily confuse ligaments and tendons as the same thing, they both have vital jobs to do and have some cross over. Sadly they both suffer from poor blood supply.

Do they do the same function?

Although many people confuse them, ligaments and tendons perform different roles in the human body.

What do they have in common.

What ligaments and tendons have in common is that they are both types of soft tissue found in joints. However, whereas ligaments connect bone to bone, tendons attach muscle to bone. Because of the way in which they connect, ligaments and tendons thus perform different roles in the body.

Explaining what they do.

Tendons: Tough, flexible, fibrous bands of tissue that attach muscles to bones. Without these connections you would not be able to move. The biggest (and most famous!) is the Achilles tendon, named after the Greek hero.

Ligaments: Composed of long, stringy collagen fibers, they create short bands of tough fibrous tissue that connect bone to bone. Whereas tendons help initiate movement, ligaments work to restrict movement by limiting how far you can move, and in which direction, they thus help to stabilize joints.

Because of their composition, ligaments are slightly elastic this means that regular stretching will allow you to gradually lengthen them, increasing flexibility.

Their limitations.

What both of these also share in common is that they are prone to injury, and because they have a limited blood supply, can take a long time to heal.

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