Ligaments: a source of musculoskeletal disorders

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2009 Apr;13(2):136-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2008.02.001. Epub 2008 Apr 14.


The mechanical and neurological properties of ligaments are reviewed and updated with recent development from the perspective which evaluates their role as a source of neuromusculoskeletal disorders resulting from exposure to sports and occupational activities. Creep, tension-relaxation, hysteresis, sensitivity to strain rate and strain/load frequency were shown to result not only in mechanical functional degradation but also in the development of sensory-motor disorders with short- and long-term implication on function and disability. The recently exposed relationships between collagen fibers, applied mechanical stimuli, tissue micro-damage, acute and chronic inflammation and neuromuscular disorders are delineated with special reference to sports and occupational stressors such as load duration, rest duration, work/rest ratio, number of repetitions of activity and velocity of movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Immobilization
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Ligaments, Articular / anatomy & histology*
  • Ligaments, Articular / physiology*
  • Ligaments, Articular / physiopathology
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Time Factors