Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Gymnastics; Joint Instability


The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to study the prevalence of hypermobility in young, competitive gymnasts and (2) to determine if the presence of hypermobility predisposes the athlete to particular joint pathologies. Subjects included 44 female members of the American Gold Gymnastics Club in Fargo, ND. These athletes were divided into three training groups based on age and skill level. All athletes were screened for systemic hypermobility by utilizing the Beighton scale. Lumbar extension, wrist extension, and navicular drop (referred to as range of motion values) were also measured on each subject. Parents and the athletes filled out an injury reporting form, with this information being compared to medical information on hand at the facility. The gymnasts were divided into hypermobile and non-hypermobile divisions within each training group. A t-test was used to determine differences between divisions for number of injuries and range of motion (ROM) values. An ANOVA and subsequent Tukey-B test were used to determine differences between ROM for the three training groups. The youngest training group demonstrated significantly increased left wrist extension, while the oldest group displayed increased lumbar extension and the greatest injury/subject ratio. No relationship was discovered between hypermobility and injury occurrence, although hypermobile elite gymnasts displayed a significant increase in right wrist extension and a significantly decreased right navicular drop_