Our bodies are all different. Some are tall, some short, some big, some small and the same variety is found when it comes to the tissues within. Some people have more collagen in their ligaments and tendons which means they tend towards being more rigid and stiff. Others have less collagen and are far more flexible. As with most things in life, problems can occur on either extreme.
Let’s deal with one side of the spectrum – being very flexible or ‘hypermobile’. The problem here is that increased laxity or flexibility in the joints makes the joints more unstable and puts a person at a greater risk of injury, especially for those involved in contact sports. As we get older the body naturally stiffens up so hypermobile individuals that avoid injury early on in life are generally able to be more active older adults.
The Nine-Point Beighton Hypermobility Score is a quick and easy test to rate how hypermobile you are. It’s a simple 9 point system where the higher the score the higher the laxity. It is scored as follows:
Scoring high on the Beighton scale doesn’t necessarily mean you have Hypermobility syndrome as you could be hypermobile with no adverse symptoms (which include pain in the muscles and/or joints). Generally if you score either 4 or 5 out of 9 you are on the hypermobile end of the spectrum and should take precautions to prevent injury and work on stabilising and proprioceptive exercises, such as balancing on different surfaces while performing sports specific exercises, so that you can stay fit and healthy into your old age.
BY: Andrew Savvides
General Health/Fitness, Lower Limb injuries, Upper Limb injuries