Prevalence, injury rate and, symptom frequency in generalized joint laxity and joint hypermobility syndrome in a "healthy" college population

Leslie N Russek, Deanna M Errico
Clinical Rheumatology 2016, 35 (4): 1029-39
Generalized joint hypermobility (GJH) and joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) are gaining increased attention as potential sources of pain and injury. The aims of this study were to evaluate prevalence of GJH and JHS and to determine whether musculoskeletal injuries and symptoms commonly attributed to GJH and JHS were more common within a "healthy" college student population. The study involved a convenience sample of 267 college and graduate students, aged 17-26. GJH was assessed using the Beighton score with a cutoff of 5/9, while JHS was assessed using the Brighton criteria. Injury history and symptoms were assessed by recall. Prevalence of GJH was 26.2 % overall (females 36.7 %, males 13.7 %). Prevalence of JHS was 19.5 % overall (females 24.5 %, males 13.7 %). Injury rates were not significantly different for individuals who had GJH vs. those who did not have GJH. Individuals with JHS were significantly more likely to have had sprains, back pain, and stress fractures. Symptoms were no different between those with GJH and those who did not have GJH. However, individuals with JHS were significantly more likely to report clumsiness, easy bruising, and balance problems than those who did not have JHS. GJH and JHS were relatively common in this healthy college student population; GJH was not associated with increased incidence of injury or symptoms commonly attributed to JHS, but JHS was associated with increased incidence of some injuries and symptoms.

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