Understanding and Managing Joint Hypermobility in Children

A Guide by a Mum Who Has Been There

I am a mum to 2 beautiful boys.  When my younger son was diagnosed with joint hypermobility by a paediatrician at 16 months old, I was scared, confused and above all, worried for him.  Joint hypermobility wasn’t a term that I had heard of before.  There were so many questions that I wanted answered: What is joint hypermobility? How could I help him?  What would this mean for his future?


If you are a parent in a similar situation, this guide is for you.  In this blog, I will explain what joint hypermobility is and how it affects children.  I will give you a first-hand account of my own experiences and provide tips on how to manage the condition and support your child.  With the right knowledge and tools, you can help your child thrive.


What is Joint Hypermobility?


Joint hypermobility is part of a spectrum of hypermobility disorders and occurs when joints are extremely flexible and have a larger range of movement than usual.  It is extremely common in children and occurs when the collagen (a protein in the body, that strengthens ligaments) is weaker than it should be.


People with hypermobility are often referred to as ‘double-jointed’, or ‘bendy’.


Symptoms of Joint Hypermobility


Whilst every child is different, some typical symptoms of joint hypermobility include:


  • Developmental milestone delays;
  • Joint pain and stiffness;
  • Clicking joints;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Fatigue;
  • Bruising easily;
  • Poor balance.


I started to realise that something was wrong when my son was around 7 months old and he could not sit independently.  He learnt to do so with time and practice, but he then never crawled – this was despite our attempts during tummy time, which he did not like.  When he was diagnosed, he did not have the strength to stand up; it was clear that he was in discomfort when his legs touched the ground


How can Joint Hypermobility be Managed?


Joint hypermobility can, with the right support, be managed extremely well. 


As soon as my son was diagnosed with joint hypermobility, we were advised to speak to a paediatric physiotherapist.  This helped hugely.   My son was assessed by a physiotherapist, who then provided exercises to help strengthen his muscles.  This in turn helped reduce fatigue, improve balance and allowed him to join in with day-to-day activities.  He also has hypermobility in his ankles, so the physiotherapist recommended appropriate footwear to provide additional support. 


If your child has been diagnosed with joint hypermobility, you should get in touch with a paediatric physiotherapist as soon as possible.  Swimming and hydrotherapy are also highly recommended for children with joint hypermobility, to help strengthen their muscles and support their joints. 


My son started walking independently at around 27 months thanks to the support we received. He is now 3 years old and is not only walking confidently, but is kicking a football around and is almost running.   He is proof of the fact that getting the right support really is invaluable to your child’s progress and that there is light at the end of the tunnel!



I am not a medical professional and am not providing medical advice in this blog.  This blog sets out my experiences and opinions as a mother and should not be taken as or substituted for medical advice.  Always speak to a medical professional in respect of any concerns you might have with regard to a medical condition.