Author: Physiotherapy Paediatrics
Review due: April 2011
ligamentous laxity in
Patient Information for the
Gloucestershire Health Community
The effects of hypermobility vary. Many
children who are hypermobile experience
no problems at all.
Difficulties that hypermobile
children may have.
This will depend on whether the
hypermobility is generalised or localised.
1. If a child’s joints are very mobile they
may take longer to develop the muscle
control that is needed for stability
when walking. They may be later than
usual to stand and walk.
2. They may find it difficult to keep a
good posture. Children may stand with
their knees pushed back and their
tummy out, or they may ‘slump’ when
standing or sitting.
3. Children may complain of aching limbs,
particularly after a lot of activity.
4. They may have to work harder to write
neatly or for a long time, and when
doing up buttons or opening packets
Many people are hypermobile. ‘Hyper’
means more and ‘mobile’ means
movement. So hypermobile means more
movement. Hypermobility may be localised
(affecting only a few joints) or generalised
(affecting most joints). If there is
generalised hypermobility this is sometimes
called ‘double-jointed’. People who are
generally hypermobile are often good at
dance and gymnastics.
Joint hypermobility is not a form of arthritis
and does not mean that your child will
It means that ligaments, muscles and
tendons are looser than average.
The ligaments, muscles and
• Hold joints steady
• Prevent movement in the wrong
• Prevent too much joint movement
Stretchy ligaments allow joints to move too
This is also called ligamentous laxity or
This is commonly seen in early childhood
and improves as the child gets older and
becomes stronger and better co-ordinated.
We do not know the exact reason for
hypermobility but it often runs in families.
What can I do t