Tuesday 16 October 2018

My Child Has Hypermobility

I recently found out that Aoife has Hypermobility Syndrome; this is something that I always had suspicions of but had been fobbed off by her previous podiatrist and given insoles for her shoes to help with her supposed instep.

I've always noticed that Aoife would walk a funny way and her legs would bend more inwards when she was standing; she was also extremely flexible and would happily sit in what looked like the most uncomfortable positions.
When I first mentioned it to my health visitor, she agreed and sent a referral through for her to see a podiatrist. When I was younger, I was also under the care of a podiatrist and was required to wear built up shoes (that didn't last long!). For us as a family, foot care and tooth care are top priorities, so I was eager for this to be looked into as soon as possible.
Her appointment soon came round and I was told she would need to wear insoles to help her walk "correctly" - these insoles didn't look like the comfiest things and soon enough she had grown out of them and I was trying to chase a follow up appointment to get a new size. 
Our health visitor had come out to visit Florrie and I decided to enquire with her as to why I was waiting so long for a follow up appointment - surely a podiatrist would know how quick little ones feet grew so should have been in contact sooner?
Within a couple of weeks a new appointment letter came through my door for Aoife's follow up appointment, finally!
This time, we saw a different podiatrist who took a more in depth look at Aoife's walk, along with undertaking some joint exercises on Aoife's legs. Whilst watching, I couldn't quite believe the angles of which her legs could bend without her being in any pain or discomfort! I then realised that I had been quite similar right up to before having Aoife in my mid twenties; I was always comfortable sat in strange positions and was rather double jointed and flexible.
After the podiatrist finished her checks, I asked straight out "is it hypermobility?" - I didn't even need her to answer as it was fairly clear that it was. She explained to me how hypermobility worked and confirmed that whilst there was no cure, it is manageable and a lot of children would grow out of it as they got older. Another thing she advised was that it was hereditary and that it was likely Florrie would get it too. She asked me quite a lot of questions about my own experiences when I was younger and advised that it was highly likely that I had had it myself and may still do. 
In order to help strengthen Aoife's muscles, we have been advised to keep on with her swimming (which she now loves), and look into further sports such as gymnastics, martial arts, dancing etc. This is something that we were already looking into anyway thankfully.
The podiatrist also advised that complaints of legs hurting after walking far were common, along with "growing pains" at night - both of which I also suffered from horrendously when I was younger and still do. The advice given was not to let her give up with walking far and to give leg massages at night in order to assist with the cramping.
This is all new territory for me and whilst I do feel reassured by her podiatrist, I can't help but wonder if I should have spotted this earlier?
I would love to hear from anyone who's little ones also suffers from this and any top coping tips that you may have?


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