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Uncontrolled hyperextension

This week's question -

Why is it bad to hyperextend my elbows and knees?

My answer -

There are a few points to make here, but I will start with this. Hyperextension is not inherently bad. UNCONTROLLED hyperextension is bad. So is WEIGHTBEARING on hyperextended joints.

We'll start with the point of uncontrolled hyperextension. Our muscles act to control our joints and move them in and out of different positions. When that does not happen, and we slide right into hyperextension, instead of our muscles it is our joints and ligaments that eventually stop the joint from completely bending the wrong way. Our ligaments and joints are meant to do this in an emergency, but not every time we move. This eventually leads to breakdown, inflammation and all sorts of things we don't want. For this reason, I tend to have my patients train into their hyper mobile range (if they have it) in a slow, controlled, low volume manner to teach their muscles how to control this movement.

For the next issue, weight bearing on hyperextended joints is a big issue of mine. This is especially true for my gymnast patients with their elbows. When we weightbear in a stacked position (180 degree straight line) the forces go through the center of all joints and can disperse well. When we weightbear in a hyperextended position, the forces go diagonally through the bones, and they do not disperse safely. Again overtime, this leads to inflammation and breakdown.

If you want to learn how to control your hyperextension, call me today for a free consultation. 973-556-8465

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