Attention CHOP clinicians: patient education should be printed and assigned via EPIC's Teaching Library.
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Joint Hypermobility: Safe Activities for People with Joint Hypermobility

These instructions from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) list safe activities and activities that should be avoided for patients with joint hypermobility, or joints that move beyond the normal range of motion.

Important information:

Joint hypermobility is a condition where loose joints are unstable and can be easily injured. It is important for children with hypermobility to be active. This helps build healthy bones and muscles and prevent pain and injury. Regular exercise can make the heart and lungs stronger, improve energy, help with focus in school and increase self-esteem.

Patient instructions:

  • Children and teenagers should participate in 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

  • Exercise should be enjoyable and be a part of a daily routine.

  • It is important to choose activities that are safe for loose joints.

  • Choose activities that are "most safe" from the list below. Talk to your healthcare provider or physical therapist before participating in other activities. They may be possible with modifications.

Most safe

  • Recreational swimming

  • Tai chi

  • Walking

  • Pilates

  • Fishing

Low risk

  • Stationary bike

  • Bike riding with helmet and padding

  • Elliptical machine

  • Arc trainer machine

  • Step machine

  • Frisbee

  • Hiking

  • Golf

  • Kayaking

  • Horseback riding

  • Recreational dance

Medium risk

  • Jumping rope

  • Aerobics

  • Karate

  • Jogging

  • Baseball

  • Softball

  • Recreational soccer

  • Recreational cheerleading

High risk

  • Running

  • Volleyball

  • Basketball

  • Competitive swimming

Dangerous

  • Football

  • Hockey

  • Soccer

  • Lacrosse

  • Wrestling

  • Rugby

Other activities to avoid

  • Gymnastics

  • Competitive dance

  • Yoga

  • Competitive cheerleading

  • Pointe ballet

  • Pitching

  • Power lifting

  • Skiing

  • Snowboarding

Reviewed on January 23, 2023, by Megan Beam, PT, DPT

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