The youth of today are extremely hypermobile, especially in their knees and elbow regions. Teenagers these days, to no surprise, are extremely disconnected and disembodies from their bodies. Majority are completely unaware of what hypermobility means. Teenage girls for example stand by locking out their knees beyond 180 degrees. Although younger individuals find this normal, this may be painful in the long run. Hypermobility may also cause join dysfunction and potential damage to the surrounding tissues.
What is Joint Hyermobility?
In essence, joint hypermobility refers to the unusually large range of movement in some or all of a person’s joints. People suffering from hypermobility are supple and have the ability to move their limbs into unusual positions.
Joint hypermobility is often referred to as having loose joints, or individuals who are double jointed.
People who are hypermobile usually do not experience any problems. In fact some people, such as ballet dancers, musicians, and gymnasts benefit from increased flexibility of joints.
Despite the benefits, people with hypermobility also suffer from a host of unwanted symptoms such as:
– clicking joints
– pain and stiffness around joints and muscles
– dislocated joints or those that come out of correct position easily
– recurrent injuries such as repeated sprains
– digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation – extreme tiredness or fatigue
– dizziness and fainting
– thin and stretchy skin
– If and when hypermobility occurs along with the symptoms mentioned, it is then referred to as joint hypermobility syndrome or JHS.
The Causes of Hypermobility
Hypermobility can be caused by many different factors. At times, this can be hereditary in nature which means it is genetically determined to a type of protein called collage. Collagen can be found throughout the body, most commonly in the skin and ligaments. If the collagen is weaker than normal the tissues in the body becomes weak and fragile, resulting in loose and stretchy joints. This makes it easy for people with hypermobility to extend than the usual range of movements.
JHS is one distinct feature of an underlying medical condition that affects the connective tissues called Ehlers-Danlis syndrome or EDS.
How does one live with hypermobility?
People living with hypermobility typically do not experience any problems with it, thus they do not require any medical treatment or support.
Sadly, JHS can be very difficult to live and cope with as it may also cause several unwanted symptoms.
People diagnosed with joint hypermobility can take advantage of controlled exercise or physiotherapy. There are also medications and exercises that can help in managing the pain to make everyday tasks easier.
People with JHS are at increased risk of injuries such as sprains and dislocations. Managing this condition consists of treatment of short-term injuries as well as long-term management of everyday symptoms.
Who is predisposed to developing JHS?
Joint hypermobility is actually commonplace, especially in younger individuals. It is estimated that one in every five people have this condition. Occassionally, those with joint hypermobility suffer from stiffness of joints as they age. This condition can continue into adult life and is manifested through its unwanted symptoms.
Joint hypermobility is more common among women than men, and are considered to be less common among Caucasians than those of ethnic backgrounds.