Karen-Jane,our Principal Pilates Teacher, has undertaken professional development training in Hypermobility, with a personal interest in exercising with connective tissue disorders.
Our Experience of hypermobility and discomfort:
We understand and believe in the need for gentle and steady pace of exercise for clients with hypermobility, particularly with the presence of EDS. Modifying and regressing exercise is the way to go, with lots of encouragement and a sprinkle of ‘closed chain’ exercise.
It is important to be aware that not everyone who has hypermobile joints experience pain or discomfort, the reasons for this are still up for debate. Benign hypermobility is often seen in sportsmen/women and is considered an advantage
Injury recovery is often considered to be slower in people with EDS hypermobility, NYStudio can direct you in how to progress and regress exercises to help.
Karen-Jane, our Principal Pilates Teacher has a personal interest in connective tissue disorders and has undertaken several training courses with world leading experts in the field; including Suzanne Martin and Jane Simmonds
What is Hypermobility?
Our joint range is a spectrum; a hypermobile joint can often be shallow, allowing for a larger range of movement. The ligaments supporting the joint may be stretchy- this is considered to be a collegen type difference present in people who have EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) Hypermobility. EDS is considered to be a connective tissue disorder and can present itself in hypermobile joints, but goes beyond being ‘a bit bendy’. Your healthcare professional may diagnose you as hypermobile if your joints move out of the ‘normal’ range of movement.
The only way to be diagnosed with EDS is by a specialist- clinical diagnosis of EDS hypermobility- based on family history and symptoms. There is no blood test to confirm, however it is important that if your symptoms do change, that you visit your GP- There are other types of connective tissue disorders.
How to Exercise with Hypermobility
Close the Chain!
Closed-chain exercise is where your limbs are attached to another part of your body/equipment or the floor. It helps your proprioception (where you are in time and space) and this is known to be extremely beneficial to clients with large ranges of movement-especially with where there is a connective tissue disorder. Reformer Pilates is wonderful for creating closed-chain exercise, although matwork classes can be modified to allow for closed-chain movement to take place.
You can purchase stretchy bands from NYStudio. They allow you to practice exercises at home and become stronger. We recommend this for our hypermobile clients. Loading your joints (slowly) is important for progression of your exercise ability. Please ask at your class if you would like to purchase bands from us.
Just don’t ask me to Relax- it’s the only thing holding me together!
This is untrue. In fact, learning breathing techniques and allowing for some relaxation is very important; our nervous system is considered to be responsible for our experience of pain, so taking care of it is very appropriate. Taking time to enjoy hobbies and socialise with our friends and family will help you to feel well, so make sure you do this.
Often when your joints are cracking, clunking, clicking or creaking, it is not the joint itself that is moving around and it is important to know that this is actually quite safe. By gradually loading your muscles with closed-chain, weight bearing exercise, and getting your joints moving, you may well notice that your noisy hips start to quieten down. Some hypermobile joints do like to dislocate, it is true. Knowing what to do if it happens is beneficial.
Where to get further info
Having a diagnosis of a condition can feel empowering and you may feel like you want to read up and learn more; Research on connective tissue disorders is progressing fast; fantastic news for anyone who has overwhelming symptoms. There is interesting and current literature is being produced on hypermobility and EDS all of the time. In order for us to offer current and meaningful information on the condition, we recommend that you visit the EDS website www.ehlers-danlos.org for further information.
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