Hyper-mobility vs. Hyper-flexibility

Hyper-mobility vs. Hyper-flexibility

November 22, 2021

These 2 words are often used interchangeably. When in reality they mean two very different things. Your health care team is well versed in these differences. Hyperflexibility is referring to the amount of stretch our contractile muscles can perform, while hypermobility refers to the laxity of the ligament(s).

Hyperflexibility refers to the ability of our muscles to lengthen and reduce tension. Since they are like rubber bands, they will return to a resting position; therefore, will not increase the risk of injury to the joint due to lack of support. Often being hyperflexible does not pose a concern for injury but may indicate the need for specified strengthening.

Many people will have hypermobility in one or two joints, but only a small percentage of people have widespread laxity. A ligament does not have a contractile property, so once it is stretched/lengthened it will not return to a resting position. It will always remain lengthened. A laxed ligament will no longer support the joint which can result in pain and injury for many of those who do not know how to properly strengthen the appropriate muscles surrounding the joint. Overstretching a ligament is therefore a great big “no-no”.

Physical Therapists, as the movement specialists of the medical community, are probably the best resource to help you understand your condition and set you up with the best exercise regimen. ST was designed by and continues to be progressed/changed and updated by physical therapists. Make sure you work within your pain tolerance while using the program and be accurate with answering the questions that may be asked before or after your sessions. This will help the system adjust to your needs. The range of motion assessments are utilized to monitor your progress and alert your healthcare team of any concerns. Remember, you can always reach out to your health coach for further advice.

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