High-end hypermobile

What can I do to help myself?

6 messages
25/08/2012 at 17:15

Hi everyone

I've posted on here before about a persistent groin strain and hip problems and having finally got myself a physio my fears have been confirmed. A LOT of it is down to my hypermobility. I always knew I was very bendy, but apparently I'm "high-end" hypermobile and the reason my groin and hip is bad is because a) my lower back is very stiff due to overcompensation for my stupidly bendy upperback (I hinge from two particular vertebrae so much that there are creases in my skin apparently) and b) the muscles are clinging on to dear life to hold my pelvis where it should be.

She's given me exercises to help this, and it does seem to be working. But now I am also getting strange pains in my ankles, starting at the top of the ankle and up the inner calf and shin. I'm thinking this is all linked, and perhaps my ankles need strengthening (used to go over on them ALL the time when I was younger). Any advice on how I can strengthen my ankles?

And how do other super-bendy people deal with these things? I'm starting to get bored of the sound of my own whinging!!

25/08/2012 at 20:34

The key for me has been strengthening exercises which are targetted in the middle of the range of movement - ie the 'normal' part of the range.

So - I have no problem hyperextending my knees to - 20deg. I also have very lax cruciate ligaments (effectively non-functional). So I target leg strengthening exercises where my knee only travels between 60 and 90 degrees of flexion. This might be squats where only go up and down a few inches. I also do a lot of cycling, where the range of movement of hip, knee and ankle are all very modest and so on. I think the reason this helps is that it increases the tone of the muscles which cross the relevant joint, providing a bit of external bracing. I know my knees will still pop all over the place if I consciously relax, but during normal running they feel much more stable. Still a bit iffy if I overextend while fellrunning downhill, but I just avoid this. 

I'm not sure how you would extend this principle to ankle exercises, which need to provide stability in more planes and directions than the hinged knee joint, but I do know that cycling a lot has helped my ball-and-socket hips over the last few years - I feel much more 'solid' now in my 40s than I did in my 20s.  

I hope that helps a bit.

27/08/2012 at 21:14
Thanks for the advice, I'm really stuffed as to what to do really.

I'm not what you could call a typical hypermobile person, my elbows and knees don't turn out, but my fingers are very loose and my back is too (front to back and side to side). When I was a teenager I couldn't wear heels because I'd go over on my ankles all the time and that still happens sometimes.

The very odd part is that every running shop I've been to (and doctor) says i stand neutral. So I have neutral trainers. According to a friend my left ankle dips in when I run but not my right. But both ankles/inner shin/lower calf hurt.
I've just paid out ??130 for some asics nimbus 14, for optimum cushioning, so I'd hate it if they weren't right for me!! In fact I think I'd cry!!
28/08/2012 at 03:41

I have been told by a rhumatoid doctor that I am hypermobile and apparently quite badly- though I don't agree with the quite badly part as I read about hypermobility and there are only some of the areas I have hypermobility on- at least what I deem as hypermobility (so I guess open to arguement).

 

I have constant lower back pain and have been told its due to HMS (Hyper Mobility Syndrome) though I'm not so sure myself. I've been also told that making my core stronger would mean I'm less likely to put strain on these other joints which do already hurt or are at risk of hurting joints. I also have osteoarthritis (apparently this is linked to hypermobility) which makes it even more important that I do something about it.

 

I have to say, the info you've been given seems pretty indepth and I'd love to have your Doctor- the Doctor's I've seen have either just said they don't know or have looked at am MRI scan and said everything is fine despite it feeling anything but fine. I'd love to have seen your Doctor!

I was told I have a certain amount of degeneration in both my knees and my ankle (the scan only did my legs not my back, I only had an MRI on my back and it was an MRI which had shown my legs to be fine.) the degeneration would otherwise be known as osteoarthritis and yes, my ankle especially did ache. In the past I've had sprained ankles as a result of being hypermobile (my ankles do this odd flicky thing before they settle on the ground) and this could have caused the description for the osteoarthritis. I have since taken up a more barefoot style of running (I have a midfoot strike rather then forefoot or heel strike) and about 6 months after that diagnosis for the first time in a year the pain in my ankle had gone. I've also not had another sprain since (touch wood) where as before I was regularly going over on it.

 

Its not a cure and most Doctors and physios would refuse and possibly be holding their breath to want to strangle you because to them running is an extreme sport due to the impact and anything which reduces the protection you have but what they don't understand is that done properly the impact is not the same because its dissapated throughout your body rather then as a sudden jolt with each foot strike. Its very important to read up about this type of running if you are interested in trying it and attempting it very slowly over a few months. Its not a cure, its just what I have found helped me and helped prolong the running I could do without pain.

28/08/2012 at 13:31

Loads and loads of strengthening exercises, I aim for 5 days a week but have been a bit slack over the summer! I pick up niggles again as soon as I slacken so I know they work!!!

I have had an ankle problem recently and have been doing ankle extensions with a resistance band and ankle raises and drops on the stairs! Think I plucked them off of a google search!

10/11/2012 at 12:22
I am currently a serving member of the armed forces and have HMS. I have recently completed a 3 week intense rehab/physio course in order to help me manage it and try to reduce the injuries I keep incurring. Core strengthening and squats are definitely the key and there's plenty of exercises that u can do in the comfort of ur own home without going to the gym or purchasing fitness equipment! Swimming and exercises in the water also really help to strengthen everything too.

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