Monday, August 5, 2013

Hyperlaxity

Last year during my first run-in with injury, my PT reiterated that my problem was not tightness of the fascia around my muscles and that my body was flexible enough to do all of the prescribed movement. At the time, I didn't really think much of it and mostly because I didn't understand what he meant.

Fast forward to this year, and I finally get it. For the longest time, I knew that some of my joints bent a little bit farther than normal. My elbows and my knees are good examples of this. My knees go back a little bit further than they should (maybe I was a flamingo in another life?) and my elbows are pretty much designed to give my husband the heebie-jeebies (sorry Eric, sort of). I have never really thought much of this. I've always been this way and I never saw any reason to give it a lot of thought.
Okay, maybe they don't go that far,
but the point remains.

Except I should have, or at least I wish I had noticed it earlier. In addition to having some loose joints, I have a pretty underdeveloped sense of joint position. Joint position sense is a component of proprioception, which is at its most basic definition is your sense of where your own body is in space. If you're really interested, you can check out the page on Wikipedia. Now if we combine my underdeveloped sense of joint position and my loose joints, you end up with me standing in contorted postures that do nothing to help my joints or muscular imbalances.

Fortunately for me, I learn pretty quickly and once something is brought to my attention, it's there permanently. It also means I catch myself standing with my legs hyperextended at random points throughout the day. I think my inner flamingo must be trying to escape. It makes me a little bit sad that most people don't even have to worry stuff like this. That's my lot in life though, and I'll just have to accept it and move on. It's not like I can change my genetics.