Author(s): Murray KJ, Murray KJ, Murray KJ, Murray KJ
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Abstract It is well recognized that many if not most children and adolescents attending paediatric rheumatology clinics will have a non-inflammatory origin for their complaints or disorder. Mechanical causes are frequently identified, and hypermobility or ligamentous laxity of joints is increasingly recognized as an aetiological factor in the presentation. Such conditions include 'growing pains', recurrent lower-limb arthralgia, anterior knee pain syndromes, and back pain. Studies of significant cohorts of such patients have now been published supporting the link of ligamentous laxity to particular symptom complexes. However, much disagreement remains as to the validity of hypermobility as an aetiogical factor. What seems clear is that not all hypermobile individuals will be symptomatic or indeed possibly have any risk for specific musculoskeletal disorders in later life. Screening tools such as the Beighton score are likely to be inadequate in many paediatric populations. Along with increasing recognition of these disorders in childhood and adolescence has been the development of a multidisciplinary management approach, which usually involves predominantly allied health professionals such as podiatrists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. The challenge remains to interpret symptoms correctly as being related to the hypermobility and to predict why such children become symptomatic. The answer is likely to involve physiological and psychosocial factors. In addition, early identification and modification of risk factors may have major implications for subsequent prevalence of many adult medical disorders such as low back pain, chronic pain syndromes and degenerative osteoarthritis.
This article was published in Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis