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Using Whole Body Vibration Machine Exercises With BJHS (Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome)

Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (BHJS) is commonly an issue in children and young teens and adults, affecting an average of 4-13% of the population at some degree. Additionally, it is a syndrome in which the joints are looser than then the normal and become swollen or painful after exercise. Even though this is not a condition, it can be disturbing and can interfere with one’s ability or desire to perform an assortment of physical activities.

Moreover, BJHS appears in people who are not affected by systemic rheumatic diseases such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Lupus or Sjögren’s syndrome

...and is more common in people with a family history of this issue, so it is thought to be an inherited connective tissue disorder.

How does BJHS manifest and what causes it?

More commonly found in females and more likely to affect Asian and Afro-Caribbean ethnicities, BJHS tends to lessen as one ages, and can manifest in variant forms from one sufferer to another. Furthermore, some accuse only minor joint pain while others can experience not only hypermobility of joints but also degenerative changes and joint dislocation.

Hypermobile means that the joints have an abnormally large range of motion, so the affected people may be able to move their limbs into awkward positions. This increased flexibility can be beneficial for some people, such as gymnasts or dancers, but it may also manifest to dreadful symptoms.

It is very common for individuals with hypermobile joints to go through muscle stiffness and pain, clicking joints, fatigue, frequent sprains and recurrent injuries, or even digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome or constipation. Also, stretchy and thin skin which bruises easily, dizziness, weakness of the abdominal muscles, varicose veins, anxiety and even cardiac issues and fainting may occur.

As for the causes of this syndrome, joint hypermobility is inherited in most cases, so genes and genetic changes are involved. More than anything, genes that are responsible for developing collagen, the protein that helps glue tissues together. BJHS can also be caused by underlying conditions affecting connective tissues, like the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) for example, or the Down syndrome.

Treatment Options For Joint Hypermobility Syndrome

A majority of the time, this syndrome does not cause serious issues so it doesn’t require special treatment or support, but the manifestations can be disturbing, so a combination of physiotherapy and controlled exercise may be suggested. Some therapies for managing pain and swelling may also be needed, but this depends on one’s lifestyle and exercise habits. People with hypermobile joints have a higher risk of injuries such as sprains or dislocations, so they may need to avoid some forms of exercise.

In addition, BHMS may be associated with acute pain as a consequence of an injury or chronic pain due to prolonged pain in the spinal cord or peripheral nerves. Furthermore, it may also lead to poor spatial awareness and proprioception (awareness of joint position), as a result, increasing the risk of injury. In females, the symptoms may get worse around the menstrual period.

Now, before seeking any sort of treatment for this syndrome, you should make sure it is indeed hypermobility and not other issue that may affect your joints or bones even more in the future, if left untreated. JHS can be silent and asymptomatic for a handful of months, and the symptoms generally develop over a long period, with no obvious alert.

The most affected areas are the leg joints, knees and elbows, and the hypermobility tends to lead to stiff and tight muscles, the calves and thighs being often affected. Swelling of the affected joints may worsen after exercise but also during the late afternoon and night, and may go away without any specific treatment, within hours.

For those individuals suffering from BJHS, exercise is the best treatment option, as it helps strengthen the muscles around the loose joints, keeping them in place. Some doctors may advise wearing braces or splints to protect the affected joints, especially during exercise or other activities that involve lifting weights or put more pressure on the hypermobile joints.

Medications aren’t helpful for fixing the loose joints, but they may be useful – anti-inflammatory drugs mostly – for relieving the pain and swelling after working out.

Applications Of Whole Body Vibration Machine Therapy In BJHS

People with benign joint hypermobility syndrome may benefit from whole body vibration therapy for pain reduction as well as for strengthening the muscles and reducing the range of motions of the affected joints.

A Whole Body Vibration Machine is safe and actually has positive effects when done correctly; it is less likely to cause injuries than conventional strength or weight lifting exercises, which are often avoided by people with this syndrome.

In addition, Whole Body Vibration Machine therapy helps by strengthening the muscles and ligaments and providing more stability to the joints. Moreover, it also helps by:

  • Improving proprioception

  • Balance and coordination

  • And relieving the stress and pain caused by BJH

In a healthy body, the muscles, ligaments and fascia connect all the elements of a joint and keep them together, ensuring the stability and normal functioning of the joint.

In BJHS however, these elements are affected and the transmission of information from the brain to the joints is altered as well. The hypermobility of joints leads not just to movement dysfunction but also to overworked muscles, which become painful. The stress on muscles and joints increases and the whole joint complex becomes dysfunctional.

A Whole Body Vibration Machine helps in a variety of ways. First, it increases local circulation, restoring the normal blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscles that surround the joints. The fascia and muscles receive more water, oxygen and nutrients, and this helps them heal faster and perform better. Additionally, the recovery of the damaged tissues takes place faster.

Next, a Whole Body Vibration Machine helps by improving muscle stability and flexibility. The excessive stimulation of muscles as a result of a Whole Body Vibration Machine leads to increased muscle tone, and helps in improving the support and stability for joints that are not properly supported by the ligaments.

The muscles that have become too tired and shortened as a result of the consistent stress and constant attempt to stabilize the joints can see some relief and become more flexible with a Whole Body Vibration Machine.

The stretching movements on a vibration machine can help normalize the length of these muscles and restore their function. The muscle contractions created by a Whole Body Vibration Machine assist the lymphatic drainage as well, and improve the removal of excess fluids from the body, helping to prevent swelling. Better lymphatic mobility means better cell health and a faster recovery of damaged tissues.

Overall, a Whole Body Vibration Machine helps by restoring the normal communication between brain and joints. In addition, it also helps stimulate the proprioceptive system, contributing to a better control and stability of the joints.

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