This is going to be a really interesting and long post for me to write because, for some reason, this tiny syndrome has seemed to have a huge impact on my body. Being a former athlete and person who loves to be active overall, this syndrome seems to be important in order to try and keep myself injury free as much as possible. If you happen to have a lot of joint aches and pains/strains/sprains, you may want to read over this a little bit. This can effect runners, swimmers, weight lifters, etc. because your form is completely wrong from this syndrome.
If you don’t know what benign hypermobility syndrome is you can click here or read over this little summary:
- Joints are held together by ligaments, tendons, etc. and looseness of these joints allows them to extended past the normal range of motion.
- Hyperextension of the joints leads to swelling and pain the area after exercise or day-time activities leading to multiple strains, sprains, fractures, and even dislocations.
To diagnose BHS, look for these signs (and for your added enjoyment, I’ll include pictures showing I fit under all of them):
- The wrist and thumb can be moved downward so the thumb touches the forearm.
- The fingers (especially the 5th finger) can be extended back so they are parallel to the upper arm.
- When standing, the knees are abnormally bowed backward when viewed from the side. (AKA MAJOR KNEE PAIN)
- When fully extended, the arms bend further than normal (beyond straight).
- When bending at the waist, with the knees straight, the child or young adult can put his or her palms flat on the floor.
- Your thumb can bend 90 degrees.
So, what does this all mean? Well, every time I stand, squat, run, lift, or anything my joints were hyperextending all the time. When did my left knee start hurting? Sure, when I was compensating for my right knee but also when I was doing yoga and weightlifting. I was hyperextending my knee all of the time while putting it through poses and squats.
One of the most important things for people with BHS is to stand without hyperextending your knees which I do all.of.the.time. Without a doubt, I stand with my butt pushed out and my legs locked which causes major stress on my medial knee. This makes sense why my knees didn’t hurt walking/running (because they’re partially bent) but hurt while I was standing (hyperextended). Then, when I would sit or rest I would feel the pain from all of the pressure I put on my knees.
For now, I’m doing some things to try and and strengthen my joints in hopes this helps my plica/medial irritation of my non-surgery knee. So far, I’ve noticed it hurts a lot less frequently. Sure, I have times (like now, oof) where I can feel it when I’m sitting but there are times now when I don’t feel it. I’m just holding on to this little glimmer of hope I may be able to heal this without surgery. Major fingers crossed.
Some things to do in order to overcome BHS:
- Core strength. Your core keeps your pelvis in line where it should be when you’re standing. Think: Pelvic Tilts. Tiny little exercises but I’ve been doing them and notice a slight difference!
- Standing with a slight bend in your knees. It will feel really awkward at first and at times I’m sure I look awkward, but I have noticed a difference when I’m standing.
- Good arch support shoes. I’m definitely a neutral runner, but after being diagnosed with BHS my ankles may need extra support to keep everything in line.
- Proper Form. This one is huge for weight lifters or Yogis. When you’re in a pose or coming up from a squat, make sure you don’t hyperextend your joints! I know I was doing this every time I came up from a squat or extending from a bicep curl.
- Physical Therapy. If you’re really confused about what you’re doing, you may need to see a physical therapist for exercises.
Ever since I have been researching this, things have been on the up and up. I do have some bad days and times throughout the day where it will hurt and I feel like I’m back at square one, but I have major hope this is going to sort itself out. If not, fine. But, only time will tell for now.
I hope everyone found this interesting if you read all the way through! This was definitely a long and wordy post, but something I found really interesting. For now, I’ll leave you with some cuteness of a sleepy puppy.
Do you have BHS?