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Hand exercises and joint hypermobility in children

Three Part Question

In [children with joint hypermobility syndrome], do [hand strengthening exercises] have an effect on [increasing function or reducing pain]?

Clinical Scenario

A child is referred for Occupational Therapy (OT) assessment by a specialist paediatric consultant with a diagnosis of upper limb joint hypermobility syndrome. They experience pain and difficulty with fine motor tasks. We wonder if a prescribed hand strengthening exercise programme would impact on this.

Search Strategy

Searches were carried out by the librarian at Central Manchester University Hospitals on AMED, CINAHL, EMBASE, CINAHL, Medline 2009-2019
[Hypermobility OR hypermobile OR erlos stanlos* or bendy] AND [Children or paediatrics] and [hand* exercise or hand* strengthen* or upperlimb AND (exercise or programme or activit*) or fine motor AND (exercise* or program* or activit*) or hand function*] LIMIT to human and english language

Search Outcome

47 articles were retrieved of which nil were relevant to the three part question


There is no literature available that investigates the effects of hand strengthening exercises on children with joint hypermobility.

Clinical Bottom Line

There is no evidence to suggest that children with joint hypermobility should not be treated with hand exercises. There is also no evidence to suggest that hand exercises have an effect on increasing function or decreasing pain in patients with hypermobility. Further research is required in this field.