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What is hypermobility?

Explaining what hypermobility, and what having a hypermobility syndrome means.

What is hypermobility?

Hypermobility describes how bendy or flexible you are. You may hear doctors and other professionals working use it. Lots of people are hypermobile or flexible and if you look around your classroom you will see other bendy children.

Being hypermobile or flexible is not always a bad thing. It can be an advantage in activities such as dance, gymnastics or music. Lots of sports and pop stars are hypermobile. Cheryl Cole and Michael Phelps are very flexible people and they are both hugely successful in their careers. This may even be the reason why you are very good at a sport or activity.

People can train to be hypermobile like ballerinas or swimmers or you can be born with it. If you are born bendy often one of your parents or even your brothers or sisters may be flexible too.

What is a hypermobility syndrome?

What is hypermobility?

Sometimes being hypermobile or bendy can cause problems or ‘symptoms’. This is what the word ‘syndrome’ means. Syndrome = ‘other symptoms’

You may get pain in your joints or muscles and feel very tired. Some children have problems like stomach aches, illness feeling sick, dizzy or other symptoms which your parents can read about on the other parts of the website.

Some children only have a small problem with a very bendy joint which is hurting them and making them feel tired. These children may get better once they have had some physiotherapy to make the joint strong again.

Some children have what doctors call 'hypermobility spectrum disorder' (HSD) or joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) or other conditions which we call ‘Connective Tissue Disorders’.

Connective Tissue Disorders include Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, Marfan syndrome and Osteogenesis Imperfecta. There are other types too.

Will it get worse?

What is hypermobility?

For most children it shouldn’t get worse. A doctor and a physiotherapist can help you with the pain and special exercises which should help.

For a small number of children the symptoms can worsen as you get older or go through puberty. Your parents can look at the other parts of the website to see if there is any information which will help you. Even if it does get worse we can still help with the pain and fatigue. We can help you understand how to get stronger and teach you how to cope with the pain. And there are some things which the doctors can do to help with stomach or bladder or bowel problems. There are even some things they can do to help stop you feeling dizzy!

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