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Joint Hypermobility Syndrome

Joint Hypermobility Syndrome

If you have joint hypermobility syndrome, you’ll have a number joints throughout your body that are very flexible and easily exceed what is considered to be a normal range of motion for the respective joint. This is often coined as being ‘double jointed’ or just very flexible, without putting in the months of stretching beforehand. Joint hypermobility syndrome is a result of increased laxity in connective tissues throughout the body. Hypermobility is often seen in childhood, and for some, persists into adulthood. It can be tested by checking the flexibility through various joints in the body using the Beighton Score.

What causes hypermobility?

In a majority of cases, hypermobility is hereditary and will have little impact on a person's life, aside from acknowledging that they are more flexible than others.

In much rarer cases, joint hypermobility is a result of a connective tissue disorder such as Marfan’s Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, as well as in Downs Syndrome.

What are the symptoms?

Many people with joint hypermobility will never experience any painful symptoms. However, having loose ligaments and tissues may increase the risk of injuries such as joint sprains, dislocations and subluxations. For those that experience symptoms, these may include:

  • Joint pain, particularly in the lower limbs
  • Muscle fatigue and ‘growing pains’
  • Appearance of clumsiness

How is it treated?

Often, no treatment is indicated for joint hypermobility syndrome where it remains asymptomatic and has little effect on daily life. A percentage of children with joint hypermobility will also see an improvement in adulthood as their flexibility decreases.

Unfortunately for some, joint hypermobility does predispose them to develop other painful conditions such posterior tibial tendon dysfunction secondary to having flat feet (pes planus). Treatment will then focus on managing the symptoms or conditions as they arise, as opposed to the hypermobility itself.

Ways of managing hypermobility and its symptoms include:

  • Maintaining good muscle strength will help stabilise joints and stop muscles from tiring out as fast where hypermobility may cause them to work harder than normal
  • Using orthotics to help stabilise the feet at the ankles, providing additional support for the surrounding muscles
  • Wearing good, supportive footwear that supports the feet in place as opposed to letting them easily roll at the ankle

Because hypermobility can impact people very differently, come in and see our team of podiatrists if you have any concerns. We’ll develop a management plan that is specific to your symptoms and daily activities to give you the best outcomes both now and in the years to come.

Two weeks with Calcaneal Spur and finally got to see Doc. He sent me to Kevin @ Eleven and with One Appointment, he had me walking without Crutches. Yes! It still hurt. Did the Stretching, Rolling my Foot on a Spikey ball and Iced it occasionally. Return visit, after he had his Holiday, and I' am walking fine. They do NOT want to see me again, unless it deteriorates. Which it has not :-)
- Ivan CooKe