What is Hypermobility?
Hypermobility is a description of joint movement. Hyper means ‘more’ and mobility means ‘movement’. Ligaments offer stability to joints and in hypermobility, ligaments are lax and joints have more flexibility. It is not an illness or a disease, just part of the normal amount of variation in our anatomy. It is considered a normal in young children.
Children who are more flexible may take a bit longer to achieve crawling, walking and running and may be more likely to bottom shuffle. Other frequent findings are:
Clumsiness, tripping and falling
Reluctance to walk longer distances
Difficulty with handwriting, holding a knife and fork and dressing
Is there cause for concern and what can be done to help?
If your child is otherwise fit and well then there is no cause for concern.
If your child is experiencing symptoms from their increase joint mobility then the best thing to do is to try and help them develop their muscle strength. This allows them to develop better control of their joints. Simple, regular exercise such as swimming and cycling are very good in this condition.
It may well be that your child has symptoms that come and go during early childhood but usually their symptoms become much less frequent as they grow up and become stronger.
There is no medical treatment for this condition and special braces or supports don’t help. If your child is reaching school age and still seems to be having troubling symptoms then a physiotherapy assessment might be helpful to focus on more strengthening and specific areas of difficulty.
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