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Joint Hypermobility and Sport: A Review of Advantages and Disadvantages

Baeza-Velasco, Carolina MA, PhD; Gély-Nargeot, Marie-Christine PhD; Pailhez, Guillem MD, PhD; Vilarrasa, Antonio Bulbena MD, MSc (Cantab)

doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e3182a4b933
Extremity and Joint Conditions: Section Articles

Joint hypermobility (JH) is a feature observed in several inherited conditions in which joints have a range of motion beyond normal limits. Such inherent flexibility makes it relatively easy for hypermobile people to perform certain physical activities, so this characteristic is particularly convenient for certain athletes. However JH also can carry some disadvantages: it has been associated to a higher risk of injury and to states of anxiety. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the current evidence concerning the advantages and disadvantages of JH in the field of sport. We emphasize the importance of detecting JH in athletes in order to intervene appropriately through injury prevention programs, and emphasize how inherent anxiety may have a negative impact on sporting performance.

1Epsylon, Laboratory Dynamic of Human Abilities and Health Behaviors, University of Montpellier and St-Etienne, Montpellier, FRANCE; and 2Anxiety Unit, INAD-Hospital del Mar, Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, SPAIN

Address for correspondence: Carolina Baeza-Velasco, MA, PhD, Epsylon, Laboratory Dynamic of Human Abilities and Health Behaviors, 4 boulevard Henri IV, 34000 Montpellier, France; E-mail:

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Sports Medicine.