BFR implicated for Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders? – Part 1/2November 3, 2022
📖HSDs is the contemporary term used for the nonheritable disorders of connective tissue that is characterized by increased joint mobility, joint pain, and decreased participation in recreational or competitive activities.
Thus, hypermobility does not necessarily give rise to any symptoms. HSD is also relatively common, affecting ~1 in 30 people often symmetrically. It can either be present in a few joints (Local-HSD), or it may be more widespread affecting several joints (General-HSD).
Relative to individual preferences conventional resistance training is a top priority when symptoms are present. As this type of exercise is probably the most time-effective therapeutic modality and whenever possible a key part of the treatment and management of HSDs.
Strengthening exercises can potentially assist the lax joints, which in turn will reduce the risk of dislocations and general discomfort associated with HSDs. Being stronger may reduce the risk of acute injuries and provides active joint stability.
To our knowledge, no data on BFR in a similar population exists!? So, is there a rationale for doing BFR Training in people with HSD? The monotonous argument for BFR is if conventional moderate-heavy lifting is associated with joint flair-ups, general pain, or swelling..
The less biomedical argument but probably more important, use BFR relative to individual preference for low-load. In this case, it is more feasible and more time-efficient to use BFR Training vs conventional low-load training.
🎬 In the video, we see a woman with symptoms related to mild HSD as a standard lower-body BFR program, consisting of low-load 20-40% 1RM, Leg Curls and Leg Extension.
💡The rationale for using machines initially in programming for HSDs, is the possibility to restrict ROM, e.g. evading knee hyperextension, etc.
This precaution may be relevant for BFR in HSDs, as BFR is known to be more perceptually and physically fatiguing. Eventually progressing the exercise selection to more compound or proprioceptive demanding exercises if applicable relative to clients’ Symptoms & preferences.
To be continued..
Gere Luder et al. (2021) Effect of resistance training on muscle properties and function in women with generalized joint hypermobility: a single-blind pragmatic randomized controlled trial.
Coussens et al. (2022) Muscle Strength, Muscle Mass and Physical Impairment in Women with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Hypermobility.
May To et Caroline M Alexander (2019) Are People With Joint Hypermobility Syndrome Slow to Strengthen?