A Guide to Living with Hypermobility Syndrome.

Author:Hastings, Penny
Position:Book review

Isobel Knight (author); A GUIDE TO LIVING WITH HYPERMOBILITY SYNDROME; Singing Dragon (Nonfiction: Health & Fitness) $19.95 ISBN: 9781848190689

Byline: Penny Hastings

People with an excessive range of movement in one or more joints are said to be "double jointed" or "loose jointed." The clinical term is joint hypermobility. There is a particularly high incidence of this among gymnasts, acrobats, musicians, and dancers. According to Isobel Knight, in her book A Guide to Living with Hypermobility Syndrome: Bending without Breaking," 70 percent of the ballet and contemporary dance community is hypermobile, versus 10 to 30 percent in the non-dance population. Hypermobility can be an asset for these arts because of improved flexibility and the ability to move the body into varied and interesting postures.

But Hypermobility Syndrome (HMS) differs from general joint hypermobility. HMS is often painful and complex, with patients presenting a wide variety of symptoms, including pain from multiple injuries throughout the body, not just the joints. Disturbances of the nervous and cardiovascular systems and bowels, as well as mood swings, are some of the complaints.

HMS is a genetically inherited condition. A connective tissue disorder which relates to faulty collagen proteins that affect the body systemically, HMS is more prevalent in women and within African and Asian populations.

Diagnosis can be difficult for HMS suffers, some who say they see multiple doctors over the years before their symptoms are finally understood. HMS patients are...

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