Joint Hypermobility Syndrome in Children

November 24, 2015 | By | Reply

Are my ligaments too stretchy and joints out of place?

“Are my ligaments too stretchy and my joints come out of place?”

  • Generalised joint hypermobility (GJH) is used when a child has several joints that are more flexible than usual.
  • This happens when the connective tissue which makes up the joint structures (capsule and ligaments) is more compliant (more easily stretched) than usual.
  • Generalised joint hypermobility is quite a common occurrence – in fact it is just a normal variation in the way joints are put together.
  • Most ballet dancers and gymnasts have a degree of joint hypermobility – which means that you can be hypermobile, strong, active and fit.

“Why is this and what can be done to overcome these difficulties?”

  • In hypermobility the connective tissue has more give than usual and  as a result the joint surfaces are less firmly held together, are less stable and the joint is able to move further than normal.
  • If the ligaments are lax, the joint can extend beyond a straight line. The child stands with the joints in hyperextension.
    For eg: Children who stand with the knees in hyperextension will have a hollow back with the pelvis titled forwards

Joint Hypermobility in Children

“How does Hypermobility affect different joints?”

  • The elbow can be extended to form a backward angle.
    Joint Hypermobility in Children
  • The wrist can be bent so the the thumb touches (or nearly touches) the forearm. Hypermobile fingers can bent back to 90°.
    Joint Hypermobility in Children
  • The joints in the fingers and thumbs also bend backwards.
    Joint Hypermobility in Children
  • The increased flexibility in the fingers make the hands less stable and the muscles have to work a lot harder when using the hands to grip, lift and manipulate objects.
    Joint Hypermobility in Children
  • Loose joints but some tight muscle
  • Flexed spine.
    Joint Hypermobility in Children
  • Low muscle tone and generalised joint hypermobility
  • Hypermobile joints are easily injured
  • May also experience back pain due to poor posture and muscle weakness.

Fast Facts:

  • Children are considered hypermobile if their joints move beyond the normal range of motion.
  • Children with hypermobility have been called “loose-jointed” or “double-jointed.”
  • Hypermobility may be associated with muscle and joint pain that is especially worse with activity and at night.
  • Joint protection techniques, improving muscle tone and muscle strength help reduce pain and repeated injuries to children with hypermobility.

How you can make a difference starting today:

  • FITNESS TRAINING holds the key and is very, very important
  • A fit child has more STAMINA for sitting in the classroom, is able to keep up with peers in the play ground, is more willing to participate in games and sporting activities.
  • REGULAR EXERCISE improves mood, helps a child to deal with anxiety, and is an important for preventing obesity.
  • STRENGTHENING WEAK MUSCLES will give joints added stability, reduce pain, increase endurance and stamina and encourage active participation.
  • FLEXIBILITY TRAINING for tight muscles reduces abnormal stresses on hypermobile joints and reduces pain and discomfort following exercise.
  • Maintaining A GOOD POSTURE while standing and sitting is important.
  • JOINT PROTECTION TECHNIQUES like standing with knees slightly bent, avoiding extremes of range of motion and wearing good shoes with arch supports.
  • The use of BALANCING TECHNIQUES may help with joint symptoms.

“Fitness is a family affair and parents are a child’s most important coaches”
Joint Hypermobility in Children

We at PHYSIOREHAB provide a tailor-made and specific strengthening exercises for hyper-flexible children to have a pain-free and joyful childhood.

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