For Parents Elbow hyperflexibility

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
426
USA
Hi folks,

After DD (age 11) mentioned intermittent elbow pain several weeks ago, I scheduled an appointment with a pediatric ortho. We just found out that it's not serious - no bone chips or OCD - but apparently she's hyper flexible in both elbows and that can cause pain. Doctor recommended physical therapy and follow up in 6 weeks, no gym restrictions. She hasn't started PT yet.

Just curious if anyone has experience with what I now call her "mutant elbows", LOL. Will she be the next Avenger, or will this be something to keep an eye on in the future (will it make her more prone to injury)?
 

gymjunkie

Coach
Proud Parent
Judge
Sep 9, 2013
740
Elbows are prone to injury in this sport period. My daughter has hypermobile elbows with no pain, so the two don't always go hand in hand. I would have her try to figure out what is causing the pain. She might have a technique issue on a particular skill. If so, it would be best to identify it and fix the technique or even switch skills if she is an optional.
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
113
30
I did! I hyperextended my elbows about one on every 50 roundoff Backhandsprings, including during a meet or two. It hurt when it happened, but I would bend and straighten it over and over and then it would feel ok. We did eventually take them all out and replaced them with whips.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PreciousJ

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
426
USA
I did! I hyperextended my elbows about one on every 50 roundoff Backhandsprings, including during a meet or two. It hurt when it happened, but I would bend and straighten it over and over and then it would feel ok. We did eventually take them all out and replaced them with whips.
Sounds like my DD's exact situation - short term pain when doing BHS or pushing down on the bar. We'll see what the PT recommends. She's Xcel Silver now, so she hasn't learned whips yet, but thanks for the feedback!
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
113
30
Sounds like my DD's exact situation - short term pain when doing BHS or pushing down on the bar. We'll see what the PT recommends. She's Xcel Silver now, so she hasn't learned whips yet, but thanks for the feedback!
I never saw anyone about it - just not something my parents ever would have thought about. It was also 20 years ago and things have changed (for the better) since then. I have talked with one of our kid's PTs before, and there are exercises they can give her, but it takes a lot to train that awareness to not lock them out! I was somewhat lucky in that when it became a serious issue for me, I was already at a level where it becomes easier to work around, and that mine was pretty specific to tumbling runs. Good luck to your daughter!
 

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
426
USA
Update:

DD recently saw a physical therapist as a follow up to her previous orthopedic visit. She's not currently in any pain but I wanted her to be able to learn how to strengthen the muscles around her elbow to help prevent further issues. The PT advised some simple but challenging exercises with a Theraband and exercise ball for her - focus will be on core and shoulder/rotator cuff muscles. Interesting stuff! The PT thinks building strength in those areas will help, since weight bearing motions can cause flare ups (vs. hanging from the bar, which was my concern).

Fingers crossed that this will be the extent of her gymnastics "injuries", LOL.
 

gympoppop

Proud Parent
Feb 27, 2022
37
My daughter has this same issue. I’m curious if there are any skills that should be avoided/modified in order to reduce elbow stress. For example, I’ve read that turning the hands in (fingers towards each other) on a bhs helps elbow stress. Good idea? Any other mods that would help on other skills?
 
  • Like
Reactions: PreciousJ

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
426
USA
My daughter has this same issue. I’m curious if there are any skills that should be avoided/modified in order to reduce elbow stress. For example, I’ve read that turning the hands in (fingers towards each other) on a bhs helps elbow stress. Good idea? Any other mods that would help on other skills?
The PT did not advise modifications during tumbling, but you raise a good point. I will ask. DD has said she hasn't had pain when doing BHS lately, her elbow locks up if she keeps her arm in the same position for too long. Wrist stretches were also advised daily, the same types of stretches gymnasts would do to warm up wrists before practice.
 

Tina

Proud Parent
Gymnast
May 20, 2022
6
46
Hi folks,

After DD (age 11) mentioned intermittent elbow pain several weeks ago, I scheduled an appointment with a pediatric ortho. We just found out that it's not serious - no bone chips or OCD - but apparently she's hyper flexible in both elbows and that can cause pain. Doctor recommended physical therapy and follow up in 6 weeks, no gym restrictions. She hasn't started PT yet.

Just curious if anyone has experience with what I now call her "mutant elbows", LOL. Will she be the next Avenger, or will this be something to keep an eye on in the future (will it make her more prone to injury)?
Hi my Daughter been having pain in her elbow waiting for MRI next week think it OCD she not in pain when not using my Daughter arm won’t go straight
 

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
426
USA
Hi my Daughter been having pain in her elbow waiting for MRI next week think it OCD she not in pain when not using my Daughter arm won’t go straight
I hope you get a positive diagnosis, as OCD sounds serious. When my daughter first mentioned her elbow pain and I did some research, I was initially worried that it was OCD. I hope your daughter has better news!
 

Tina

Proud Parent
Gymnast
May 20, 2022
6
46
I hope you get a positive diagnosis, as OCD sounds serious. When my daughter first mentioned her elbow pain and I did some research, I was initially worried that it was OCD. I hope your daughter has better news!
Thank you ….I’ve been on Google to much … when the consultant seen her arm not going straight that they first thing he said OCD
 
  • Like
Reactions: PreciousJ

Tina

Proud Parent
Gymnast
May 20, 2022
6
46
I hope you get a positive diagnosis, as OCD sounds serious. When my daughter first mentioned her elbow pain and I did some research, I was initially worried that it was OCD. I hope your daughter has better news!
Hi did your daughter hand not go straight . My daughter can’t put her hand to her shoulder she not in pain
 

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
426
USA
Hi did your daughter hand not go straight . My daughter can’t put her hand to her shoulder she not in pain
My daughter said her elbow would lock up for a few seconds, to the point where she couldn't extend her arm without pain (but she could do it). She never mentioned having problems with moving her hand or wrist, and her orthopedist confirmed that there were no issues with the hand/wrist on x-ray. Just a slightly anatomically abnormal elbow joint.
 

Tina

Proud Parent
Gymnast
May 20, 2022
6
46
My daughter said her elbow would lock up for a few seconds, to the point where she couldn't extend her arm without pain (but she could do it). She never mentioned having problems with moving her hand or wrist, and her orthopedist confirmed that there were no issues with the hand/wrist on x-ray. Just a slightly anatomically abnormal elbow joint.
Thank you for reply my daughter hyper flexible in both elbows waiting for MRI now hope it not OCD she can extend her arm without pain just . Can’t Touch her shoulders with her fingers she says her elbow is click when she moves it that when it hurts not that much … was your daughter off gym for long xxx
 

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
426
USA
No time off from gym, she had a visit with a pediatric orthopedic/sports medicine doctor and another follow up visit several weeks later. Then she had about 4 physical therapy visits, was given home exercises, and was cleared. No problems since.
 

Katie

New Member
Apr 26, 2022
12
15
Sounds like my DD's exact situation - short term pain when doing BHS or pushing down on the bar. We'll see what the PT recommends. She's Xcel Silver now, so she hasn't learned whips yet, but thanks for the feedback!
Not ideal but my elbows are double jointed (bend past straight) and I just bend my arms slightly in back handsprings. I don’t compete them yet and you would get a deduction but it’s better than pain.
 

New Posts