I’ve talked about JHS in all of my posts up until now, but never really explained what it is or how it can affect a person. Now I’m not just explaining this for the people who haven’t heard of JHS, but for everyone, because even those who have heard of it and live with it everyday still don’t have a full understanding of what it is. So here goes…
First I’m going to split this down into two parts to explain; hypermobility and hypermobility syndrome.
So, hypermobility.. well the expressions that most medical professionals use, and I have a habit of using them myself now I’ve heard them so many times (which is probably why I get a tonne of blank looks when I have to begin explaining to people), are “hyperextension of the joints” and “an unusually large range of movement”. In simple terms? I’m bendy. Verrrrrrry bendy! A lot more than other people, well the majority of. For example:
So this is my hand (obviously!) but most of you are either squirming, or trying to do this yourself, or both. Don’t worry, I’m used to it… it’s the usual reactions I get. So why is this abnormal? Well that’s my fingers bending back further than they should, a “normal” person should only be able to straighten their hand to the line and no further.
I can just imagine you all trying to do these now.. P.S. excuse my tummy showing! However, this particular picture highlights many different areas of my “bendiness”, such as my elbow, my ankle, my wrist and, of course, my back. Also, I’ll let you into a little secret, the last one where my top knuckles bend… It’s quite an uncommon thing, even among hypermobile people. If you can do any of these, then it’s possible that you may be even the slightest bit hypermobile. Don’t worry, hypermobility itself is a more common occurrence than hypermobility syndrome, so just because you’re able to do these things, does not mean that you automatically have JHS, or any other hypermobility syndrome.
What causes hypermobility then? Well, it’s all to do with something we call collagen. Collagen is a protein that is found all around the body, in both skin and ligaments, and is what helps our joints to move. In simple terms? It’s like an elastic band, ensuring that the joints don’t bend back too far. See where I’m going with this yet? It’s this “elastic band” that is faulty, as such, in hypermobile people and doesn’t quite work as it should… therefore allowing the joints to bend further than they should.
How do we become hypermobile? Well usually it’s hereditary, which means it runs in your family. Again, just because your parents/grandparents are hypermobile, doesn’t mean they have JHS/HMS, just as it can also mean they’re not hypermobile at all… Just that the gene lives within them and has been passed onto you.
So that’s the hypermobility part explained, but read my next post to discover more about hypermobility syndrome, and JHS in particular. In the meantime, have fun trying to twist and turn into the shapes above.
Also, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or queries… My social media profiles are at the bottom of the page for you to click on or, alternatively, there is a button in the tabs above that takes you straight to my Facebook page where you can message me!