Hypermobility and Long COVID: Exploring Connections and Opportunities for Improved Care
In a recent study by researchers Alan J Hakim, Philip Bull, and Gez Medinger, the link between widespread joint hypermobility (GJH) and Long COVID symptoms has been investigated. The study, involving over 1000 participants, revealed that individuals with GJH may be more prone to experiencing chronic symptoms associated with Long COVID, such as brain fog, joint, muscle, and nerve pain.
The survey utilized a 5-part questionnaire to identify GJH, with affirmative responses indicating a likely presence of hypermobility. Results showed that 28.5% of participants had GJH, with it being more common in females than males.
- Participants with GJH and Long COVID were 70-80% more likely to report joint pain, nerve pain, and numbness, and 30-40% more likely to report muscle pain and brain fog compared to those without GJH.
- Despite physical fatigue, palpitations, or breathlessness being common in both groups, these symptoms were not significantly more concerning for participants with GJH.
- The average health score for the entire group dropped from 8.5 before COVID-19 to 4.4 with Long COVID, with similar scores for females vs. males and participants with vs. without GJH.
Implications and Opportunities:
- The findings suggest that GJH in adults with Long COVID is associated with a higher risk of joint, muscle, and nerve pain, as well as cognitive fatigue.
- Identifying joint hypermobility in Long COVID clinics is crucial, as it may impact treatment and advice regarding physiotherapy and exercise.
- The study highlights opportunities for collaboration between healthcare professionals specializing in Long COVID and those familiar with hypermobility syndromes. Shared knowledge and resources could benefit both communities.
- Increased research into these issues could enhance our understanding of comorbidities and improve treatment for individuals with hypermobility syndromes, Long COVID, ME/CFS, and FM.
In conclusion, the study encourages clinicians and scientists to collaborate closely, leveraging their transferable skills to enhance services and care for those with hypermobility syndromes and related conditions. Education on the management of hypermobility syndromes is also emphasized for better outcomes.
The full article is here: https://www.hypermobility.org/longcovid