How being “double jointed” or hypermobile can cause pain and lead to Injury.
Double-jointedness is caused by a laxity in the joint where the ligament attaches to the bone. Lack of stability in the joint is a primary cause of pain and directly cause muscles and fascia to alter their function. Lines of tension or constantly engaged muscles affect Fascia. This can begin shortly after birth when we start to take our first steps.
Once you conquer the ability to walk the arch in your foot forms. Lack of stability in the ankle joint often causes flat-footedness in children which carry on into adulthood. You may see a collapsing of the knees or knock-kneed, kids, hitting their ankles when they run or walk.
Traditionally or historically it was thought that muscles themselves could be strengthened to stabilize a joint, once ligaments are stretched this is almost an impossible feat. There can be an adaptation, which in my practice I have seen is not optimal long term. Strengthening muscles in the lower leg to stabilize the ankle joint, I have yet to see success.
How you walk changes your fascia/body. This collapsing of the ankle creates a flat-footed appearance. Flat footedness creates strains on muscles and fascia throughout the body. Bringing the ankle back to the proper position restores the arch restores proper function and reduces pain.
Stabilize and Activate
The only way to stabilize the ankle to my knowledge is to receive Prolotherapy injections directly into the ankle joint.
Some health care professionals recommend orthotics, but orthotics treats the symptom not the cause. Functionally orthotics are awkward and are not pleasing to the eye. Often do not fit in shoes and cause other imbalances dysfunction.
The arch will reappear when the ankle joint stabilizes. It becomes stable with Prolotherapy and PRP; it is like a miracle. The therapy allows for reduced stress on the knee but also can help to reduce bunions and reduce pressure points on toes among other causes of foot pain.
Constant Wear on Joints.
Hypermobility is often incorrectly thought to be an appearance of flexibility in soft tissue. Hypermobile joints are seen as flexible but are loose. Anchor the joint in hypermobile people, the muscles are inflexible, and you lose range of motion. I.E. your muscles are not as flexible as you thought they were.
Flexible people must learn to stretch by anchoring or stabilizing the relevant joint combined with intentional and active stretching. If your joint is doing all the work instead of your muscles, the joint over time tends to create internal friction, grind, wear down and become arthritic and painful.
Swelling of joints may form adhesions, again limiting the range of motion. Reduced range of the movement causes pain and stiffness. Mobility is continually and inexorably reduce, or your joints will collapse or wear out. Both may lead to ligament surgery time and time again or eventual joint replacement.
Double jointed shoulders and hips often result in easy dislocation.
People with hypermobility and extreme flexibility must learn how to engage their muscles well beyond what is necessary for a hypermobile individual. It takes training to engage muscles to stabilize the joint.
Hypermobile athletes learn to engage specific muscles at the same time to gain stability and strength. Energy to keep the core muscles strong and stable ‘s hard if you are tired, overtrained or lack focus even for a moment. Your back goes out; your shoulder goes out and so on.
The secret is to start training children at a young age with balance exercises, core training exercises and learning to activate the important muscles relevant to the activity.
Awareness that you have this issue is important and the key to prevention of injury. Seeking someone who administers Prolotherapy is essential for prevention.
Stay Strong and Stable
For more information on Hypermobility, please read this article.