Understanding is everything
Like any problem, a physical condition needs to be properly understood in order to be improved.
With the wealth of information available online it can be easy to feel confused and overwhelmed about what’s right for you. Here you’ll find not only relevant information about orthotics and biomechanics but also common misconceptions and myths that I’ll set straight. Anything here that you’d like to discuss or find out more about, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
This is not a condition to be underestimated. Although great gymnasts and dancers tend to be hypermobile, hypermobility is often a source of problems and can affect either a single joint or every joint in the body.
It is essential to remember that the muscle flexibility can be improved when working with your physiotherapist or personal trainer. However, when it comes to joint mobility, we are looking at the ligament which is a bone to bone link, where no muscle is involved. This is much less stretchy than the tendons, the ligaments provide joint stability, prevent the bones from grinding into each other and limit the movement around the joint.
Foot support will mainly come from the right footwear, orthotics/insoles and the right lacing method when exercising. Joint support comes from strong and healthy tendons and muscles. Strengthening exercises will require some guidance though, at least at the beginning of a training or recovery plan.
Remember when you exercise that muscles are subject to fatigue, pain, and injury. Do not push your training too far because if your tendons let you down, you cannot rely on your ligaments to protect your joints.
Exercising barefoot has its risk when hypermobile, simply because your feet count for a quarter of your skeleton (56 bones on 224). This means they contain a lot of ligament. Orthotics for those who are hypermobile must be moulded directly onto the feet, one foot at a time and if possible, layer by layer for the orthotics to be very snug and accurate.
During the pregnancy and menopause, the hormone drop has an impact on those structures. For this reason, it is important to keep your shoes on as much as possible and to stay away from slippers and flip flops, even more if you are hypermobile.