Last month, at our home base clinic in Southbank, the Performance Medicine team held a hypermobility seminar. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Well gosh darn it, I really wanted to go to that one!!’ Don’t worry we will be running another next year! The focus of the seminar was to present relevant information about hypermobility and lots of practical ‘how to’ tips and tricks about dealing with hypermobility. Some of the main things discussed were postural control and how awareness of ‘straight’ posture can be difficult for someone with hypermobility. We also spent some time exploring postural strategies to improve and better manage the excess tension hypermobile people can experience in certain muscle groups, and learnt strategies to reduce it.
Some interesting questions arose:
The tips I give my student are not helping her integrate better posture or alignment in our lesson. What are some more effective ways can I help?
Some strategies to improve awareness of imbalances would be placing hands on the area of the body you want to correct. Using a mirror can be useful, but in some circumstances could be detrimental if their appearance becomes distracting to the task! Also if they stand on one leg while your teaching it, or on a cushion or rolled up jumper their balance becomes challenged and can stimulate better corrective strategies. But can be challenging so be ready to modify quickly with technique.
Anxiety is often common dealing with hypermobility. Is it a common finding ?
Anxiety with any condition is common, and as there is less awareness or public knowledge of dealing with hypermobility. Because of this, it can either bring confusion or too much attention to problems. I don’t observe its any more or less than other musculoskeletal issues or disorders. Either way the best way is to involve a GP to log your concerns. Anxiety is relevant to address as one of many issues that affects our health, and can even impact us physically.
When do you know to be assessed for systemic (internal organ) issues that Ehrlers Danlos Syndrome can get?
Mainly it is very straightforward. If there are issues with digestion, irritability with food intake, acid reflux, abdominal pain, thermoregulation, any other issue really, you just log with your GP for the idea the issue can be monitored over longer term. Hypermobility affects all soft tissues, so can affect any body system really. Once you’ve raised it with your GP nothing might be needed to be done about the issue but in time if things worsen it can be dealt with better, as they can see the history of it.
We are looking forward to the next seminar, and all therapists here have experience dealing with hypermobility related issues.