Updated: Jun 3, 2020
While for most of us it's a trait in others we so often admire, please know that unusual flexibility often comes at a steep price.
Being super flexible actually means there may not be "enough" rigidity in the body to prevent issues from happening.
Let's take a look at two peculiar flexibility variations.
JOINT HYPEREXTENSION: when the angle formed by a set of bones is opened beyond its healthy range of motion (ROM), we call that hyperextension - or simply excessive joint movement.
People with hyperextension generally have to take extra care not to let their joints travel to those extreme ROM ends, otherwise they risk dislocation, inflammation, pain, and damage to the joints.
For some people, it's genetic.
For others, it's earned (dancers, gymnasts, etc.).
How can people with hyperextension prevent joint issues from happening?
1️⃣ For one, don't "lock" the joints - always keep a small bend.
2️⃣ Two, build muscle strength in the surrounding area and be mindful of engaging muscles to help you with a specific movement instead of relying on your bones.
3️⃣ Three, work on technique - make sure you have proper alignment and are conscious of keeping a good technique no matter what movement you might be doing.
EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME: this is actually a group of connective tissue syndromes. While symptoms vary, joint hypermobility is one of the key characteristics.
People with EDS have very stretchy tendons and ligaments which have a tough time holding their bones together.
As a consequence, they have loose or unstable joints that often dislocate or produce pain for the bearer.
How can people with EDS prevent joint issues from happening?
▶️ As this is a serious condition, all exercise regimes and routines need to be recommended and approved by the person's healthcare practitioner.
▶️ Some people are advised not to exercise, others are prescribed any mindful movement, yet others are told to focus on stabilizing exercises only.
▶️ Only an individual assessment can determine the right exercise plan for each person with EDS.
Now you know that extreme mobility is not "all that". It's definitely better to have more mobility aka control over your ROM, which super flexible people often lack!