INTRODUCTION: To provide a state of the art on diagnostics, clinical characteristics, and treatment of paediatric generalised joint hypermobility (GJH) and joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS).
METHOD: A narrative review was performed regarding diagnostics and clinical characteristics. Effectiveness of treatment was evaluated by systematic review. Searches of Medline and Central were performed and included nonsymptomatic and symptomatic forms of GJH (JHS, collagen diseases).
RESULTS: In the last decade, scientific research has accumulated on all domains of the ICF. GJH/JHS can be considered as a clinical entity, which can have serious effects during all stages of life. However research regarding the pathological mechanism has resulted in new potential opportunities for treatment. When regarding the effectiveness of current treatments, the search identified 1318 studies, from which three were included (JHS: n = 2, Osteogenesis Imperfecta: n = 1). According to the best evidence synthesis, there was strong evidence that enhancing physical fitness is an effective treatment for children with JHS. However this was based on only two studies.
CONCLUSION: Based on the sparsely available knowledge on intervention studies, future longitudinal studies should focus on the effect of physical activity, fitness, and joint stabilisation. In JHS and chronic pain, the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary approach should be investigated.