Generalised Joint Hypermobility (GJH) is a condition frequent seen in several hereditary diseases of connective disorders. It is defined from the maximal range of motion, often by the Beighton score, representing the laxity of the involved ligaments. GJH is a genetic feature, but also susceptible to training. GJH in adults is, when present with symptoms, characterised by functional limitations (1), decreased muscle strength, stability, proprioception, and an altered gait and muscle activity pattern.There are no precise prevalence rates of adults with Generalised Joint Hypermobility (GJH), but a recent review reports a varying prevalence for adults from 2-57% depending on age, gender and ethnic origin. For children the prevalence varies from 7-36%, primarily depending on the tests and criteria (especially the cut off-points) used for diagnosing GJH. GJH is more frequent in females/ girls than males/boys (2).Several studies found GJH to be frequent among performing artists, such as ballet dancers, gymnasts, and even musicians (3) and hypothesized an association between GJH and development of musculoskeletal disorders. As an example, professional dancers have higher physical fitness (walking distance, muscle strength, estimated VO2-max) than a matched control group, but for those with GJH, this advantage was not present.In a study of musicians a clear association was found between forearm and hand pain and GJH in 35% of female and 17% of male musicians (3), and also an increased prevalence of knee and spine symptoms in musicians with GJH (4). It has been suggested, that when playing music GJH is even an advantage, especially for joints that move quickly (wrists, elbows), but a disadvantage for joints that should stabilise (knees, back). However, one study did not find such association between symptoms and GJH in pianists.In summary, there seems to be some association between musculoskeletal injuries and GJH, presumably also in musicians, although the studies of this group are few. Therefore, larger epidemiological studies are necessary to confirm an association between GJH and musculoskeletal disorders in musicians, and whether specific precautions or preventive strategies should be taken for this group.References1. Juul-Kristensen B, Hansen H, Simonsen EB, Alkjaer T, Kristensen JH, Jensen BR, et al. Knee function in 10-year-old children and adults with Generalised Joint Hypermobility. The Knee. 2012;19:773-8.2. Remvig L, Jensen DV, Ward RC. Epidemiology of general joint hypermobility and basis for the proposed criteria for benign joint hypermobility syndrome: review of the literature. J Rheumatol. 2007;34(4):804-9.3. Brandfonbrener AG. Joint laxity and arm pain in a large clinical sample of musicians. Med Probl Perform Art. 2002;17(september):113-5.4. Larsson LG, Baum J, Mudholkar GS, Kollia GD. Benefits and disadvantages of joint hypermobility among musicians. NEnglJ Med. 1993;329(15):1079-82.
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health Sciences , 2013. 18-19 p.
Musicians´Health & Performance : 1st Nordic Conference 2013. 13/06/2013 - 14/06/2013