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Hypermobility is a certain condition of the joints where the joints stretch a lot farther than they are supposed to. This condition is known under many names, some of which are double jointedness, hypermobility syndrome, benign joint hypermobility syndrome and hyperlaxity. One of the most often seen examples of hypermobility is the ability to bend the thumb backwards all the way to the wrist. Other examples of this condition include the ability to bend the knee joints backwards, putting the leg behind the head and many others.

Joint that move beyond normal

Hypermobility does not necessarily affect only one joint. It is not that often seen but the condition can affect more than one joint in the body. The experts consider this condition to be a benign one. According to the data, between 10 and 15% of all children are affected by hypermobility or their joints can be moved beyond the normal limits of motion. It is often seen that if one of the family members has a hypermobile joint the chances are extremely high that another family member will have a hypermobile joint as well. The experts believe that this is because of certain genes that the children inherit.

Hypermobility is not just a condition, it is also a sign of a more serious medical condition named Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The main characteristic of this condition are very weak tissues that connect the body. Children inherit this condition from their parents as well.

A person who is diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome is a lot more prone to suffering from injuries than people with normal joints. The main reason why that is so, is because the joints then have more motion. Pain is one of the main symptoms of hypermobility. A person who suffers from the condition can experience pain in knees, elbows, hips and fingers. Hypermobile joints have more chance of being dislocated and sprained because of their increased motion as well. Hypermobility patients are also more prone to developing the condition of scoliosis. An interesting thing is that hypermobility becomes less and less apparent as a person gets older because it is a normal process that people become less and less flexible with age.

In addition to inheriting the genes from the parents, there are a few more causes of hypermobility. Misaligned joints and ends of either one or more bones at a joint that are not shaped normally are also the causes of this condition that are seen quite often. A person who is diagnosed with a type 1 collagen defect or the defect of some other connective tissue is also highly likely to end up suffering from hypermobility. The main reason why that is so, is because the ligaments, muscles and tendons are not as strong as they should be because of the defects. These defects also cause the bones to become weak and that leads to the condition of osteoporosis. The defects will also make a person more prone to fractures. Another cause of hypermobility is joint proprioception which is not normal. Due to this cause the person is unable to realize just how stretched the joint really is and that eventually leads to wear and tear on joints. This is another way how a person can develop osteoporosis.

Is physical therapy needed?

When a person goes to the hospital due to hypermobile joints, the doctor will advise him or her to remain extremely fit. This is one of the most essential advices that a hypermobility patient can receive because if he or she is fit, there is a lot less chance of suffering from recurrent injuries and there is no better way of preventing them. However, the patient needs to remain a lot fitter than an average person. Strong muscles are needed in patients who suffer from hypermobility as the muscles provide the support for the joints and make them stabile. Regular exercise and ether physical therapy or hydrotherapy can aid in relieving the symptoms of this condition. Stretching of the muscles that are tight and pushed to their limits is a part of these therapies. Because of the fact that a hypermobility patient needs to stay fit, the doctors usually recommend Pilates and T’ai chi instead of contact sport or some other way of exercising. The main reason why these exercises are good is because the chances of suffering from an injury are not nearly as high as in contact sport. Cold and hot compresses are used as well when the pain in the joints is severe and needs to be relieved.

Most hypermobility patients need to make certain changes in their lifestyle. Those who write can switch to typing as it cause less pain. If that causes pain as well, there is voice control software that can be of a lot of help. Using a wheelchair is advised for those who feel pain while standing. Avoiding any activity that can bring on the symptoms should be avoided. Making sure that the posture is proper is essential.

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