Hypermobility Syndrome is not one illness, but rather a collection of genetic conditions which affect the body's connective tissue. Do not be confused by the obvious-looking name. People with HMS are not simply more active or faster moving. They mainly suffer from extremely lax joints and fragile connective tissue (such as tendons, ligaments and muscles). This combination is particularly nasty because an injury which stretches joints (a bad fall for example) will put more strain than normal on the connecting ligaments, tendons and muscles which support the joint. Sufferers of HMS will usually heal slowly (and painfully) following any physical injury or even excessive exertion.

The main Hypermobility Syndromes are...

All of these conditions are "autosomal dominant" disorders, meaning that if one parent carries the gene, each of their children has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene. Even with the gene, symptoms vary, and children do not always exhibit the same symptoms as their parents.

HMS sufferers are usually advised to take plenty of gentle exercise. With sufficiently good muscle tone the problems associated with HMS are lessened. Stronger muscles can support the lax joints and prevent them being stretched so far, thus lessening damage to the other connective tissues.


Resources

  • HMSA (Hypermobility Syndrome Association)
    - http://www.hypermobility.org

  • Hypermobility & Fibromyalgia Support Site
    - http://anaiis.tripod.com/hmedfm/id8.html

  • Contact a Family - for families with disabled children
    - http://www.cafamily.org.uk/Direct/h56.html

  • FocusOnArthritis.com (MedicineNet, Inc) - HMS
    - http://www.focusonarthritis.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=390&rd=1

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