Target audience 5-11 yrs.
Why do I get pain and why do I get tired?
- Sometimes we don’t know why you have suddenly started to have problems with pain and fatigue or why other things start to cause you problems. But it can happen if you have had an accident or been ill or had a big growth spurt or if you don’t exercise enough.
- One reason you may get pain is because your joints and muscles may be too ‘loose’ and you have to work very hard, without even thinking about it, to keep everything working! This may be why you feel very tired too. People with a hypermobility syndrome usually have to work very, very hard to do the same things as everyone else. You may have dislocations when you bang into things because you have loose joints and what the doctors call shallow sockets, so it is easier for the joint to fall out of place.
- Another reason may be that you are a little bit clumsy so you have more ‘accidents’ than other children. You may fall over more or bump into things. It is quite common for children with a hypermobility syndrome to be a little clumsy. You may sprain your ankles or wrists or bruise more easily and it can take longer to get better than other children. If you fall over and hurt yourself you may damage your skin and bleed. Your skin may take longer to get better than your friends. The scab may take longer to fall off and you may scar where you hurt yourself.
- We don’t always know exactly why hypermobile people have problems, but there are still lots of things that can be done to help improve how things are for you. The HMSA as well as doctors and other professionals are there to help you.
Things to do to help cope with pain.
- Heat helps with tense, tight muscles, and cold helps with swelling and injuries like sprains. Sometimes swapping between the two is good. Find out what works best for you.
- Thinking about pain makes you notice it more, which makes you tense, which makes you hurt more. So distraction is really useful. Some distraction ideas include:
- Crafts and model making
- Listening to music
- Games – board games and computer games
- Writing poems or stories
- Drawing or painting
- With hypermobility syndromes it is very important to keep moving. When we are injured our bodies react by tightening the muscles – which can make pain in hypermobile joints worse. So although lying on the sofa all day can feel nice at the time it can make pain worse in the long term so if you are having a bad pain day remember to do lots of gentle stretching and moving.
- And don’t forget to do your physiotherapy/exercises! Being as fit and strong as possible is the best way to stop or lower pain in the future.
Will it get worse?
For most children it shouldn’t get worse. A doctor and a physiotherapist can help you with the pain and special exercises which should help.
For a small number of children the symptoms can worsen as you get older or go through puberty. Your parents can look at the other parts of the website to see if there is any information which will help you. Even if it does get worse we can still help with the pain and fatigue. We can help make you stronger and teach you how to cope with the pain. And there are some things which the doctors can do to help with stomach or bladder or bowel problems. There are even some things they can do to stop you feeling dizzy!
Parents / Teachers / Healthcare Professionals click HERE for more general advice on helping hypermobile children manage their pain. You may also want to order the HMSA Booklet “The Educator’s Guide to the Hypermobile Child “
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