: Joint hypermobility syndrome, Extreme-flex, Benign joint hypermobility syndrome, or (Hyperlaxity)
Hypermobility Syndrome (HMS) is a condition in which the joints of an individual have the ability to move about far more beyond the normal range.
In those with this condition, the ability to perform contortionist activities
such as bending thumb backward to touch the wrist or stretching the leg behind the head is commonly observed.
In a lay context, people with joint hypermobility are called “double jointed” due to the extreme laxity of their joints. As a result many of them can excel as good gymnasts.
Hypermobility may be present alone without any other symptoms. However many limitations are observed such as muscle fatigue and a general predisposition to joint dislocation.
In those with HMS, hypermobility of the joints may occur alongside other symptoms, such as myalgia and arthralgia
and together they constitute the ‘hypermobility syndrome’.
On an average, this condition is estimated to occur in 10%-15% of all otherwise -healthy children. HMS is seen to occur more in women than in men.
Hypermobility syndrome runs in families; the presence of certain genes in predisposing an individual to develop hypermobile joints has been suggested. It may be interesting to note that the genes responsible for synthesizing connective tissues, such as collagen, are implicated in the rendering joints hypermobile.
It comes as no surprise therefore that hypermobility is very commonly featured in patients with Ehlers –Danlos syndrome,
a condition characterized by weak connective tissues.
Individuals with HMS have tall parents.
Hypermobility syndrome is a benign condition and not life–threatening. However, it could cause complications like osteoarthritis and joint dislocations.