Hypermobility Syndrome, particularly in children, is often written off as simple growing pains, but it actually reflects a fundamental difference in physiology that can be both a blessing and a curse. If your child is unusually flexible, stands with a strange posture, and complains frequently about aches and pains, he or she may suffer from this condition. Thankfully, you can help manage your child's discomfort and encourage safe athletic development through regular physical therapy sessions.
Building Strength and Flexibility Safely
Joint hypermobility typically occurs when the collagen surrounding the bones and ligaments in a joint is weaker than it should be, allowing those ligaments to extend farther than they normally would. People with this increased joint mobility are sometimes called double-jointed. Although added flexibility can be beneficial for athletes, weaker collagen can also make your child more prone to sprains and other injuries. A physical therapist will be able to help your child develop strong muscles to support his or her weaker joints, possibly preventing injury in the long run.
Another downside to less rigid joints is that it requires more effort for your child to simply stand straight, and it is easier to relax into bad posture. You may notice your child slouching often or standing with his or her knees hyperextended until they almost seem to be facing backward. Although this usually doesn't lead to health problems, it can have an impact on your child's social development and should be corrected when possible. Your physical therapist will work with your child to increase his or her mindfulness of posture and retrain the body to stand appropriately.
Managing Joint Pain
Some children with joint hypermobility experience no pain from their condition at all, while others experience long periods of chronic pain in their joints. This may be in part due to an inherent weakness in the joints that leads to greater wear and tear, but it can also be exacerbated by a poor walking gait, which can occur alongside bad posture. Joint massage therapy as well as gait training may significantly improve your child's comfort on a day-to-day basis while also reducing pain in the future.
Dealing With Minor Injuries
Hypermobile ankles may be more prone to rolling and spraining, and if your child is involved with sports, you will need to be mindful of accumulating injuries and their effect on a growing body. Physical therapy can minimize the damage by treating each new injury instead of allowing it to slowly heal on its own. Hypermobile children typically lead full, rewarding lives and may even develop promising athletic careers, but it is up to you to ensure that your child is not suffering as a consequence of this increased flexibility. If you suspect that your child has Hypermobility Syndrome and could use a helping hand, contact a local physical therapy office like Bonita Community Health Center to get started.Share
13 May 2016
After watching my mother navigate treatment for breast cancer in my early teens, I knew pretty much what to expect from my dad's diagnosis with prostate cancer. What I didn't know was how different chemotherapy and radiation can affect different people. My mother became very ill while my dad seemed to weather the treatments with few ill effects. I spent a long time researching the differences in treatments, types of chemotherapy, and how each one can react differently with the body. I created this blog to help others understand the same things, because I knew I couldn't be the only one unfamiliar with it. I hope it helps you if someone you love is facing treatment for any type of cancer.