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Can You Stretch Ligaments?

By Kim Nunley

Ligaments are dense bands of connective tissue that connect two or more bones. They’re responsible for maintaining the stability of a joint. A decrease in range of motion is typically caused by muscle tightness, and regularly stretching your muscles and the tendons that connect them to bones is important for maintaining healthy flexibility. You don’t want to stretch your ligaments, however, or they’ll become loose, and this makes them less effective at stabilizing joints, increasing your risk of injury.

Don't Stretch Your Ligaments

The density of ligaments helps to prevent them from being stretched. When you place tension on them, they’ll strain to maintain their shape. When they undergo too much tension and they’re overstretched, such as when you sprain your ankle or dislocate your shoulder, they lose their shape and integrity and the joint becomes weak. Therefore, while you can stretch your ligaments, it’s an unnecessary and unsafe practice. However, according to chiropractor Craig Roberts, damage to ligaments due to trauma or faulty posture may cause them to tighten and require them to be stretched, but he recommends that any ligament stretching be performed with the assistance of a medical professional. Medical professionals who are qualified to stretch ligaments include physical therapists, chiropractors, orthopedists and rheumatologists.

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