Have you ever been told that you are hypermobile or is your party trick the ability to fold your thumb backwards onto your wrist or forearm? Then you may have Hypermobility Syndrome.
JHS is a hereditary connective tissue disorder which affects various tissues in the body, most predominantly the ligaments of the joint, which become lax. These structures play a big role in supporting our joints and limiting excess movement that may cause damage to our joints such as dislocations. The laxity in the ligaments of someone with JHS means they have a greater range of movement/ flexibility in multiple joints of their body. Other involvements can include things such as IBS type symptoms and sensitivities to certain foods, varicose veins, restlessness/fidgety, clumsiness, easily bruising, soft/ fragile skin and many more.
The increased laxity of the ligaments and resulting flexibility may be seen as a positive in youth, with people with this condition being able to show off and do things peers cannot. Often people with JHS will be involved in dance, gymnastics or martial arts, taking advantage of their flexibility. However later in life other symptoms start to show themselves, including fatigue and muscle and joint pain. This is where an Osteopath can help.
Strengthening is said to be the best management and injury prevention for those with JHS, especially postural strengthening. Talking to a manual therapist or a personal trainer who understands JHS can help greatly in day to day life. However, even with the best efforts and intentions injuries still happen. My Master of Osteopathy thesis focused on HJS so if you know you have this condition or think you may, book in to see me and I can tell you more and work with you to find an individualised management plan that works best for your body and your lifestyle.