Alterations in neuromuscular function in girls with generalized joint hypermobility

Bente Rona Jensen, Jesper Sandfeld, Pia Grethe Sandfeld Melcher, Katrine Lyders Johansen, Peter Hendriksen, Birgit Juul-Kristensen

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BACKGROUND: Generalized Joint Hypermobility (GJH) is associated with increased risk of musculoskeletal joint pain. We investigated neuromuscular performance and muscle activation strategy.

METHODS: Girls with GJH and non-GJH (NGJH) performed isometric knee flexions (90°,110°,130°), and extensions (90°) at 20 % Maximum Voluntary Contraction, and explosive isometric knee flexions while sitting. EMG was recorded from knee flexor and extensor muscles.

RESULTS: Early rate of torque development was 53 % faster for GJH. Reduced hamstring muscle activation in girls with GJH was found while knee extensor and calf muscle activation did not differ between groups. Flexion-extension and medial-lateral co-activation ratio during flexions were higher for girls with GJH than NGJH girls.

CONCLUSIONS: Girls with GJH had higher capacity to rapidly generate force than NGJH girls which may reflect motor adaptation to compensate for hypermobility. Higher medial muscle activation indicated higher levels of medial knee joint compression in girls with GJH. Increased flexion-extension co-activation ratios in GJH were explained by decreased agonist drive to the hamstrings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number410
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 3. Oct 2016


  • EMG
  • Hypermobile
  • Knee
  • Muscle activation
  • Rate of force development

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