Hypermobility – or “double jointed” as we call it is something that doesn’t sound very serious. Most of the time as kids, it just meant that you were extra flexible and your fingers could contort in strange ways. However, double jointedness can actually greatly affect a lot of other things including how you walk, your feet and ankles.
Hypermobility means that your joints are too flexible forcing the rest of your body to expend more energy to keep you stable and strong. There are people who are flexible (such as ballerinas or gymnasts) that are also strong and show no negative effects of hypermobility, however if you’re not working out to compensate for the lack of joint stability, you may end up with dislocations, stress fractures, tissue injuries, or an overall higher chance of getting injured.
When you take a step and your joints are too flexible, you could easily end up with ankle or knee pain. In order to prevent that from happening, you can try to strengthen the muscles that surround your joints, try to straighten and better your posture, and try to correct the movement of your actual joints. Make sure to ask your doctor to help you come up with a treatment plan that works for you. Many people have varying degrees of hyper mobility and some cases are more severe than others.
When you have hypermobility as a child, symptoms may go by unnoticed until you eventually grow out of it and your joints become stiffer as you age. If it continues onto adulthood, you definitely need to get treated so that it doesn’t cause you to have unnecessary pain or injury in your ankle, leg, back, or spine areas. If you can’t improve your condition with just exercise, there are other options that your podiatrist or doctor can recommend. Sometimes orthotics can be used to help correct your posture and gait.
Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients in the Centreville, VA area for over eighteen years. If you have any questions or need foot or ankle treatment call our office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.