Scoliosis & Hypermobility
I’m sure all of you are bored of me constantly whining about how flexible I am. Blah blah blah. What a self-centred hoebag, who isn’t even hot to begin with.
I am here to tell y’all that it’s actually caused by a genetic condition, which may be fatal. And since it is autosomal dominant [meaning that it’s a dominant genetic trait / mutation], there is a 25-50% chance my children will inherit my kinkiness bendiness. I’m glad I paid attention during 7th Form Biology, especially since I distinctly remember watching an Evolution video where there were naked neanderthals skulking around and a WTF moment when someone asked “Miss Heeney, did they REALLY travel back in time to record this?” *forehead palm.
I suspect that I may have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Hypermobility type).
The scoliosis I’ve long known about [since I was 12, actually], which makes tadasana a “moving” [shoulders up, down, hips up, down, chest back, up]. Symptons include [bolded ones are mine] :
- Uneven musculature on one side of the spine
- A rib “hump” (Pectus carinatum) and/or a prominent shoulder blade, caused by rotation of the ribcage in thoracic scoliosis
- Uneven hip, rib cage, and shoulder levels
- Asymmetric size or location of breast in females [yes, so everyone now knows that one boob is bigger than the other, Whoop de doo]
- Unequal distance between arms and body
- Slow nerve action (in some cases)
- Different heights of the shoulders
Let me enlighten you about EDS, because it’s SO INTERESTING! No, seriously.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) (also known as “Cutis hyperelastica”) is a group of inherited connective tissue disorders, caused by a defect in the synthesis of collagen (a protein in connective tissue). Connective tissue helps support the skin, muscles, ligaments and organs of the body. Depending on the individual mutation, the severity of the syndrome can vary from mild to life-threatening. There is no known cure. Treatment is supportive.
Former type 3, Hypermobility EDS affects 1 in 10,000 to 15,000 individuals, making it the most common variant of the disease. Signs and symptoms may go unrecognized by medical practitioners (or is commonly misdiagnosed) and often people won’t get diagnosed with the disease until serious complications occur. It is caused by an autosomal dominant mechanism. Mutations in either of two separate genes (which are also involved in Vascular EDS and Tenascin-X deficiency EDS, respectively) may lead to this variant. Diagnosis is made primarily on clinical observations. The major signs and symptoms include:
- Loose, unstable joints that are prone to: sprains, dislocations, subluxations (partial dislocations), hyperextension (double jointedness)
- Flat feet
- High and narrow palate, usually resulting in dental crowding [THAT IS WHY I had to endure being called metal mouth in my youth. Sigh]
- Easy bruising
- Velvety-smooth skin [Can somebody feel me up and verify this?]
- Muscle weakness, often made worse by cold weather
- Early onset of osteoarthritis (usually develops in mid-30s)
- Cardiac effects: some degree of Dysautonomia or Valvular heart disease (such as mitral valve prolapse, which creates an increased risk for infective endocarditis during surgery, as well as possibly progressing to a life-threatening degree of severity of the prognosis of mitral valve prolapse) 
Other, less common symptoms and complications can include:
- Osteopenia (low bone density)
- Deformities of the spine, such as: Scoliosis (curvature of the spine), Kyphosis (a thoracic hump), Tethered spinal cord syndrome, Basilar invagination (cranial settling), Arnold-Chiari malformation 
- Functional bowel disorders (functional gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome) [gastrics were oh so common, I’ve learnt to live with it]
- Increased nerve compression disorders (carpal tunnel syndrome, acroparesthesia, neuropathy)
- Vascular skin conditions: Raynaud’s phenomenon, Livedo reticularis
- Fibromyalgia symptoms: Myalgia and arthralgia
- otosclerosis (hearing loss) 
- Premature rupture of membranes during pregnancy
- Infants with hypermobile joints often appear to have weak muscle tone (hypotonia), which can delay the development of motor skills such as sitting, standing, and walking
The pain associated with this condition is a serious complication.
Suddenly I feel less like a freak. Things that occured in my younger days such as the frequent sprains, gastric, double-jointed party tricks and what not are all explained. So those of you who think that being flexible is a pre-requisite for yoga, you’re wrong! I go to correct my wonky spine, build some strength [damn you muscle weakness] and of course, get a good challenging mental and physical workout 🙂
On another note : the funk in my studio [or at least where I was] today was so bad, I’m sitting at home 6 hours after class has ended and the stench somehow makes its way into my mind when I’m trying to think happy thoughts. UGH!