A ligament is a tight band of fibrous connective tissue made primarily of collagen fibres which makes it extra resistant. Ligaments ensure stability between two bones that form an articulation (joint), and stability of organs in the body. Ligaments are immobile and therefore are used to limit excessive movements of a joint to prevent injuries.
Sometimes movements can bring ligaments to overstretch. For example, a soccer player that changes direction quickly with foot planted on the ground can overstretch his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which can cause a sprain or even a tear.
When a ligament is overstretched it doesn’t have the capacity to return to its normal length. This can cause articular hypermobility and further problems when using the affected joint. A complete tear might necessitate a surgical intervention, whereas the body can often manage healing a partial tear on its own.
Tendons are flexible strong collagen bands that attach muscles to bones throughout the body. Their main role is then to allow transmission of forces generated from the muscles activation.
Repetitive stress, trauma and excessive effort can put considerable stress on tendons and cause several conditions, such as tendinitis, tenosynovitis, tendon tears, etc.