Increased mobility of articular joints in medical terminology is defined as “hypermobility syndrome.” This phenomenon is often found in childhood and may decrease over the years.
The hereditary predisposition (congenital form), as well as acquired types of joint hypermobility are classified. Is this feature dangerous and is it possible to cure this condition, our article will tell.
What is joint hypermobility
Most often, hypermobility occurs on the ankle and knee joints, less often on the cervical and lumbar spine. Usually this does not cause discomfort and pain, although it looks visually purely even frightening. People with this feature easily turn their joints into an unnatural position, and also demonstrate the wonders of flexibility.
The following factors affect hypermobility:
- Muscle tone;
- Skin tension;
- Muscle fiber length;
- Joint structure;
- Types of connective tissue.
In people with this feature, there is a genetically inadequate insufficient production of collagen in the tissues, as a result of which the joint structure becomes more plastic, and the connective tissue is easier to stretch.
This effect is also achieved by special training, therefore, in people employed in a certain field of activity, hypermobility of the joints also increases. Examples include athletes, musicians, dancers, and other similar professions.
Definition and features of pathology
Joint hypermobility in children is often regarded as a physiological norm, especially when revealing a genetic predisposition. In this case, the mobility of the joints exceeds physiological norms, so a child or an adult is able to perform some movements that exceed normal ones.
In children, hypermobility of joints occurs in about 10-25%, but with age this ability decreases without proper training. If such mobility is deliberately developed, for example, by regular athletics, ballet or acrobatics, joint mobility is maintained.
The phenomenon of hypermobility has significant disadvantages. If this ability causes discomfort, soreness, and impaired motor activity, a diagnosis of benign joint hypermobility syndrome is made. This is due to premature wear of the articular apparatus, as well as damage to adjacent soft tissues.
Patients with such an ailment often also suffer from spatial disorientation, as a result of which injuries are not uncommon.
In addition, this condition is characterized by the following features:
- According to statistics, about 4-10% of all people do not experience problems in connection with hypermobility of the joints.
- In addition to the increased mobility of one group of joints, the phenomenon of generalized hypermobility may occur, in which this condition is characteristic of several types of joints.
- Genetic predisposition often manifests itself in res />
Joint hypermobility syndrome is most often caused by a hereditary predisposition. In approximately 27-65% of cases, patients with this feature in the family had close relatives with the same ability.
The following pattern was also noted: patients with joint hypermobility also often suffer from a congenital defect in the mitral heart valve. This is due to the peculiarities of the formation of connective tissue, which often strengthens independently with age.
Undesirable consequences of such a feature
The advantages caused by this feature are undeniable. This helps to move easier, more plastic, perform complex physical exercises, and also engage in certain types of activities, for example, playing musical instruments or dancing.
Is hypermobility dangerous? In some cases, yes. In this state, the joints are more vulnerable and more susceptible to negative processes.
Among the negative consequences are most often manifested:
- Pain syndrome in various departments of articular joints;
- Dislocations and subluxations of articular cartilage;
- Flat feet and the development of foot pathologies;
- Inflammatory diseases of the joints and adjacent tissues;
- The development of arthrosis even at a young age;
- Excessive stretching of the skin, the appearance of folds and stretch marks;
- Failures in the work of internal systems;
- High risk of hernia formation;
Hip joints are often affected in children, which also leads to the development of serious complications.
It is noteworthy that with age, joint mobility may weaken, but during the period of bearing a child, many women note the return of such abilities. This is due to hormonal changes in the body in this period, as well as preparation for future births. Usually, after the birth of the baby, the joint structure returns to normal without medical intervention.
How to determine hypermobility?
A lot of methods have been developed for diagnosing this pathology, but they all differ in very complex testing and a high degree of error. Very rarely, it is this diagnosis that can be suspected, because the ability to make non-standard movements is often innate and is perceived as something ordinary.
In addition, the plasticity of movements and good stretching often help in everyday life, so most people do not realize that they have hypermobility syndrome.
In the event of health problems and the development of pathological changes in the joint and connective tissue, the causes often remain unclear. The patient is given a completely different diagnosis, which is usually the result, and not the cause of the disease.
In addition, hereditary connective tissue disorders causing hypermobility are described in more than 200 species, the most common of which are congenital skeletal dysplasia and Marfan syndrome.
Joint hypermobility syndrome in children often goes unnoticed, unless accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms.
Joint hypermobility treatment
As mentioned earlier, hypermobility is not a separate disease, but rather a feature of the structure of the articular joint. The condition itself does not require medical intervention, help is needed only in case of negative manifestations.
With the concomitant development of the inflammatory process in the tissues, painkillers, hormones and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used. You can also use compresses and ointments that reduce pain and provide a warming effect.
If there are no medical contraindications, physiological procedures, manual therapy and alternative treatment methods, such as acupuncture, are also used. Good results are given by therapeutic exercises. It must be performed according to the recommendations of a specialist and individually selected methods.
In addition to a regularly performed set of exercises, it may be necessary to purchase a special orthosis, depending on the location of the problem. Hypermobility of the knee joints implies the use of protection of this area, with shoulder or ulnar mobility – wearing a different type of orthosis.
The treatment of joint hypermobility is not limited to specific terms, it all depends on the degree of progression of the pathology and the individual characteristics of the patient. In childhood, an orthopedic consultation and regular exercise are necessary. This will help prevent disorders of the musculoskeletal function, as well as avoid excessive injuries caused by weak connective tissue.
Due to the fact that hypermobility joints are most often represented by genetic abnormalities, effective methods of preventing such conditions have not been developed. Typically, standard recommendations include posture control, avoiding traumatic sports, and excessive exercise.
Hypermobility syndrome, what it is and the possible consequences of such conditions are described in the above information. Despite the fact that such a pathology rarely causes concern and often patients are not even aware of their condition, increased mobility can cause negative concomitant symptoms.
The joint joint wears out faster, and the weakness of the connective tissue affects the musculoskeletal function and can lead to injuries. A careful attitude to your health and the advice of our article will help to prevent the development of consequences and successfully adapt to such a feature.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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