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What is hyperlaxity and how is it treated from physiotherapy? - 02/04/2020

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Between 5-15% of the population is hyperlax, according to the Spanish Rheumatology Foundation. Studies suggest that joint hyperlaxity is more common in women than in men and that it may be more prevalent in childhood and decrease with age.
 
The relationship between hyperlaxity and pain in the locomotor system is common in some people. When recurrent or frequent physical disturbances occur, it is known as "joint hyperlaxity syndrome". Normally, these patients do not have problems with their elasticity, but they do suffer from recurrent injuries that need to be treated.
 
What is hyperlaxity?
 
Hyperlaxity is when the mobility of a joint is exaggerated or its range of motion is greater than usual. This is due to the laxity of the ligaments in the joint area.
 
Its diagnosis is detectable by means of the Beighton Manoeuvres or Test, a tool where the specialist checks 5 positions of the joints, these are taken to the limit and are evaluated on a scale from 0 to 9. An adult is considered to be hyperlaxed when they reach 5 points and children are considered to be hyperlaxed when they score 6 or more.
 
Symptoms of joint hyperlaxity
 
Generally, these symptoms begin in childhood and adolescence. These people may be more sensitive to muscle or joint pain. Clicking joints" are also common in their day-to-day life, although this is not an alarming indicator.
 
Some injuries or physical complications may occur more frequently in people with these characteristics:
  • Tendonitis and capsulitis.
  • Increased likelihood of sprains.
  • Dislocated joints.
  • Lumbalgias.
  • Joint dislocations.
  • Deviations in the spine or scoliosis.
  • Flat feet.
  • Knee osteoarthritis.
  • Repetitive torticollis.
  • Hernias.
How does physiotherapy work with hyperlaxity?
 
The physiotherapist will carry out an initial examination and clinical reasoning to determine the best treatment in each case. If necessary, he or she will prescribe or recommend exercises for the musculature of the affected area, stretching, or more intensive warm-up sessions before doing sport.
 
It is very important to monitor the evolution to detect possible repetitions or frequent alterations, which are part of a picture of hyperlaxity syndrome or other syndromes such as Ehlers-Danlos, Marfan.