What is benign joint hypermobility?
Hypermobility, also commonly known as “being flexible” or “double jointed”, describes how joints can move. Hyper means ‘more’ and mobility means ‘movement’ therefore hypermobility just means that the joints move more than is typically expected.
It is often hereditary which means it runs in families and is the result of lax ligaments around the joints, and as these ligaments normally restrict how much movement is available at a joint, lax ligaments therefore allow the joints to have much more movement than is normally expected.
Hypermobility is not considered an illness or a disease, but just the way someone is essentially put together. It is very important to note that it is considered a normal finding by medical professionals. (APCP 2012)
Hypermobility is actually very common in the normal population; research studies have shown that up to 71% of children under 8 years of age and 55% of 4-14-year olds have some degree of hypermobility (De Inocencio et al 2004). Therefore, most children are flexible, and, in most cases, we know that most children will become less flexible as they get older. A small percentage however will remain very flexible which is more likely if their parents also present with joint hypermobility. (APCP 2012)