Common questions about Hypermobility (‘Double Jointed’)

What is hypermobility in joints?

Hypermobility is an increased range of movement in your joints. It simply means that some of your joints move more than they normally should. This means that, you do not need to do any extra training or stretching.

For example, when you straighten your elbow, but it bends to the other side, similar can apply to your knees. In addition,  you may also be able to easily move your thumb all the way to your forehand. You might have called  hypermobile friends as being ‘double jointed’. 

What are the symptoms of hypermobility?

There are many symptoms you may experience if you are hypermobile. The variety and severity of the symptoms depend on the degree of your hypermobility.

Most common symptoms can include:

  • Unstable joints which can dislocate easily.
  • Slow healing wounds leaving wide scars.
  • Easily bruising skin which might look velvety.
  • Stretchy and fragile skin which can easily bruise.
  • Joint pain or clicking.
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness).

How do I know if I have hypermobility in joints?

There are different tests available to assess hypermobility. Different tests can usually use a different scoring system to grade the degree of your hypermobility.

In general, if your joint moves past the normal range, for example, middle finger bending backwards all the way to the forearm, it is considered hypermobile. Arguably the most common test used in a clinical setting to assess the hypermobility is Beighton scale of hypermobility.

Is hypermobility dangerous?

The vast majority of hypermobility cases are not dangerous. However, there are few sever cases where hypermobility can even be life threatening. This usually happens due to faulty genes of the connective tissues which is responsible for the integrity of muscles, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and other tissues.

Faulty genes weaken and make the tissue laxer altering the ability to sustain a normal function. Likewise, faulty genes can be passed on by one or both parents or can develop during the early growth period. 

Do I need medication for hypermobility?

To date, there is no medication which could cure you from hypermobility. In most cases, your GP will advise you  to take paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help manage pain and discomfort felt. 

Can I exercise with hypermobility?

This very much depends on the degree of hypermobility. If you have been diagnosed with general hypermobility which is not life threatening and does not affect internal organs, you will be advised to strengthen the muscles around the joints. Most importantly, strong muscles will help to support the joints and provide extra stability.

For example, if your hypermobility is severe, you might be advised to stay away from certain activities which can involve heavy lifting, jumping or contact sports.

What treatment is available for severe hypermobility in joints?

In vas majority of the cases, experts will advise you to have some physiotherapy or alternative therapy approaches based on strengthening exercises to provide stability for the joints as there is no known cure for the hypermobility.

Does hypermobility worsen with age?

Usually, hypermobility gets better as we age because joints and ligaments gets tighter and less mobile with years passing by.

Finally

We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us 3 mins away from Angel station in Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!

We are always happy to help!

References:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ajmg.c.31540 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1031273/pdf/annrheumd00242-0115.pdf 

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/23784/1/Palmer%20et%20al%202015%20ACCEPTED%20VERSION.%20for%20BURO.pdf 

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