What good ligament health means for you
Nutrition and supplementation play a vital role in maintaining ligament health and keeping them as injury resistant as possible.
If that’s a priority, you should eat a well-balanced diet. Vitamin C is an important vitamin for ligament repair but if you’re interested in supplements for ligament health, consider collagen, glucosamine (which is also found in cartilage), curcumin (turmeric), MSM, and bromelain (an enzyme that’s also found in pineapples).
“Supplements and nutrition are going to improve the lubrication of the joints,” says Chao. “Hydration is also really important. A good percentage of your ligaments and tendons is actually water, so if you’re dehydrated the substance that holds them together is not as cushy, and your ligaments are more subject to injury.”
Massage for Ligament Health
If the muscle itself isn’t firing well, the rest of the ligaments and tendons will have to take the load. So if your bicep isn’t functioning effectively because of a trigger point, the bicep tendon is going to be subject to more stress. In this way, massage and myofascial release is helpful, even though it wouldn’t directly impact ligament health.
“Moreover, if you’re having ligament tension, seeing a physical therapist or chiropractor who does more advanced stuff like gua sha, scraping, and kinesiology tape, that’s probably better than foam rolling,” adds Chao.
Sleep and Ligament Health
Finally, sleep is critical. When we throw around words like “recovery,” people often think of stretching, mobility work, foam rolling, and walking, but they neglect the most important part: hours and hours of deep, quality sleep. That’s when your body does a lot of its healing and when scar tissue develops to repair injuries. If you want your tendons and ligaments to stay healthy, try adding ligament strengthening foods to your diet. Several types of fish, hearty vegetables and delicious fruits make good choices. Bone broth has also been shown to improve joint health.
There’s no end to the reasons why you should take a responsible and holistic approach to becoming stronger. At the end of the day, strength training should build you up and make you more resistant to injury — not increase your risk of tearing muscles and ligaments. Keeping these tips in mind will go a long way to maintaining your body’s integrity and ensuring you keep training hard for decades to come.
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