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Hypermobility and sports injury
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    Stretching the conclusions a little too far?
    • Adam P Johnson, Physiotherapist Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
    • Other Contributors:
      • Jane V Simmonds, Physiotherapist

    To the Editor,

    We read the recent publication by Nathan, Davies & Swaine (2018) with great interest due to a mutual interest in the subject of Generalised Joint Hypermobility (GJH) and its influence on injuries within elite sport. The authors of this paper should be commended for undertaking a study with such good participant numbers over a range of sports. We believe that the findings of this study suggesting that GJH may be protective of joint ligament damage may be a very important initial paper leading to valuable further exploration within specific sports and specific joints. However despite this good work we would like to take the opportunity to raise a concern over one of their conclusions and how this may confuse readers of the article.

    In the discussion section of this paper Nathan et al. (2018) suggest that the findings of this study may suggest that “regular stretching may increase flexibility, and this could subsequently reduce rates of injury in those that are less flexible.” We believe that this statement may lead to misunderstanding as the terms “flexibility” and “joint hypermobility” are two completely different entities.

    GJH is a hereditary physiological entity whereby most synovial joints move beyond their normal limits (Pacey et al., 2010) and may, or may not be symptomatic. This entity is commonly classified by the use of the Beighton Scale, as in the Nathan et al. (2018) paper, whereby adult participants are deemed positive i...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.