What is Ligamentous Creep (by Dr Angus Southwell – Chiropractor)
Ligamentous creep is a term for a phenomenon commonly associated with inactivity. According to the definition by The American Journal of Clinical Chiropractic, as the time dependent elongation of a ligament when subjected to a constant stress.
When the ligaments are elongated or stretched, the time for them to return to their normal state is significantly longer in comparison to our muscles. The primary reason being is due to the vascularization of blood to these structures which affect their recovery speed.
Once ligamentous creeps come into play, the affected joints become unstable. Our body as a protective mechanism begins to stabilize the joints with our surrounding muscles until the ligaments are healed. Short term this is an effective way to stabilize the joints to prevent potential injury, however, long term muscle stabilization could cause local areas of joint dysfunction, scar tissue formation and inflammation of the muscles and surrounding structures.
Below is a table illustrated by “Symmetry Physical Therapies” outlining the expected healing times of different soft tissue structure in our body:
(Table by Symmetry Physical Therapies)
With all this in mind, there are many ways in which we can prevent or reduce the effects of ligamentous creep and a lot of it comes from altering lifestyle patterns.
Ligamentous creep usually comes on around 25-30 minutes of inactivity so by getting up and having a quick 10-15 seconds walk or even performing a microbreak (link to the Miracles of Microbreaks Blog) would significantly reduce the effects of ligamentous creep.
For more information on ways to keep your spine in “tip to shape” give our friendly team of Chiropractors at Bellara Chiropractic Bribie Island a call.