Hypermobile joints are a common condition that can affect individuals of any age or gender. People with hypermobility have joints that move beyond their normal range of motion, making them more susceptible to injuries and pain. In this post, we’ll take a look at what hypermobility is, its causes and symptoms, and evidence-based treatments that can help manage the condition.
What is Hypermobility?
Hypermobility is a condition in which an individual’s joints move beyond their normal range of motion, which can cause pain and discomfort. Hypermobility can affect any joint in the body, but it is most commonly seen in the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, and ankles. People with hypermobility may also experience joint instability, muscle weakness, and fatigue.
Causes and Symptoms of Hypermobility
Hypermobility is often a genetic condition, and it may run in families. However, there are other factors that can contribute to hypermobility, including connective tissue disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy.
Symptoms of hypermobility may include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Patients with hypermobility may also experience frequent dislocations, sprains, and other joint injuries. Additionally, people with hypermobility may experience chronic pain, which can have a significant impact on their quality of life.
Evidence-Based Treatments for Hypermobility
There are several evidence-based treatments that can help manage hypermobility and improve quality of life. Here are a few options:
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is often recommended for people with hypermobility. A physical therapist can provide exercises and stretches that help strengthen the muscles around the hypermobile joints, improving joint stability and reducing the risk of injury.
- Joint Protection: Wearing joint protection devices, such as finger splints or braces, can help stabilize hypermobile joints and reduce the risk of injury. Splints and braces can also help reduce pain and discomfort associated with hypermobility.
- Pain Management: Chronic pain associated with hypermobility can be managed through a combination of medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and massage.
- Lifestyle Changes: Making lifestyle changes can also help manage hypermobility. For example, maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on hypermobile joints, while avoiding activities that place excessive strain on the joints can help prevent injuries.
Hypermobility is a common condition that can cause pain and discomfort, but evidence-based treatments are available that can help manage the condition and improve quality of life. Physical therapy, joint protection devices, pain management, and lifestyle changes can all be effective in managing hypermobility. If you think you may have hypermobility, speak to your healthcare provider about appropriate treatment options.