Ligaments are cable-like structures that hold your bones together. Without them, you wouldn't be able to move without falling apart. While ligaments are flexible, they don't stretch far, which results in injuries--especially to the knee area--caused by sudden twists, falls or heavy lifting. Torn or frayed ligaments can lead to pain, heat and swelling of the injured joint. A strained or torn ligament actually involves millions of tiny tears of the collagen that makes up the ligament.
Vitamins can help with ligament repair. According to DynamicChiropractic.com, the peak time for collagen synthesis to occur for healing is five to seven days after the injury. Therefore it is critical to introduce proper foods and vitamins and minerals at that time. After the seventh day, the potential for collagen to repair itself is dramatically reduced.
DynamicChiropractic.com suggests that vitamin C and a handful of B vitamins should be included in the healing process. The website goes on to mention that vitamin C has been shown in many studies to be a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient, especially when combined with proteolyptic enzymes. This combination is even more effective than many drugs used for the same purpose. The body recognises drugs as poisons and has a difficult time metabolising them, but vitamin C is natural and easily assimilated. A vitamin C regimen should be started within a few days of the injury and cycled down anywhere from five to 20 days later, depending upon how quickly the inflammation subsides. Vitamin C and iron are both essential amino acids necessary for the synthesis of collagen.
B-6 is involved in protein synthesis, which is especially crucial after a ligament injury, when protein intake should be boosted to three-quarters of a gram per pound of body weight. B-12 is a micronutrient found in RNA and DNA. This matters in the presence of a sprained ligament because a deficiency causes a slowdown in collagen production. B-2 is another vitamin to consider taking, since it, along with copper, takes part in strengthening the new collagen.
It's a good idea to take a multivitamin as a daily routine, but the practice becomes even more critical when healing a sprained ligament. Generally, the body begins healing on day three post injury. It is at this point the body will be demanding nutrients, vitamins and minerals to repair the damage done to this remarkable biological machine. A daily multivitamin provides the raw material for recovering from the damage over a broad range of vitamins, each contributing to the process to some extent.