Joints move in a predictable range to allow us to effectively and safely move around and give us a balance between stability and mobility.

It is estimated that 10-15% of people however have joints that moves beyond the normal range expected of joints.

Often hypermobility is passed on from parents to their children with genes that regulate collagen production. Collagen is a protein in the body found in skin, ligaments fascia, etc…

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If the amount of collagen in the connective tissue of ligaments are altered they might become fragile and lead to weekend tissue that is easily stretched.

Hypermobility is diagnosed by using the Beighton score, using the following criteria:

hypermobility of joints2

 

1) if you can place your palms on the ground while standing with your legs straight you get one point
2) for each elbow that bends backwards you get one point
3) for each knee that bends backwards you get one point
4) for each thumb that touches the forearm when bent backwards you get one point
5) for each little finger that bends backwards beyond 90 degrees you get one point

If you get a score of four or more you are likely to be hypermobile.

Many people with hypermobile joints get little symptoms from it, in fact certain activities being hypermobile is an advantage such as dancers, martial artists and gymnasts. With the increased range of motion though comes increased instability and if not looked after and made sure there is enough muscle control and strength through the full range of motion problems might arise.

Symptoms that can possibly develop are:

1) Pain in joints and muscle stiffness
2) Dislocating joints
3) Fatigue
4) Recurring injuries
5) Arthritis or degeneration of articulate surfaces

What to do if you scored a 4 or higher on the test?

Fitness trading is key!

Start with a controlled strengthening program that includes full range moment to increase the control of your joints and will reduce pain if it is present.

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