Hypermobility

July 15, 2017

Hypermobility is a common symptom that presents itself in our clinic. In many cases the patient may not be overly aware of it whilst some people will know it to be a good “party trick” that might come out every Christmas or at the staff party!

Joint hypermobility essentially means that a patient has some joints that have an unusually large range of movement. Joints are held together by a joint capsule and ligaments made of connective tissue. Connective tissue is stiff but pliable which is important to allow just enough movement in the ligaments and joint while still holding the joint surfaces firmly together. For those suffering with hypermobility the connective tissue has a little more give then usual resulting in the joint surfaces displaying more movement than considered normal.

Many people with hypermobility experience no problems and in some sporting scenarios it is beneficial. Particularly swimming with Michael Phelps and Adam Peaty both having a degree of hypermobility.

For Those that are hypermobile and in pain it can be more problematic. Patients will often display an array of different symptoms including; pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles, clicking joints, joints that come out of the correct position easily and recurrent sprain injuries. Fortunately, hypermobility is easily diagnosed through a detailed history and examination. One test used to aid in diagnosis is called the Beighton Score which uses a simple nine-point system, where the higher the score the higher the laxity. In adults, a range a score of 4 points or more can indicate joint hypermobility.

Once correctly diagnosed treatment focuses on increasing muscle strength to support the lax joints, this will involve predominantly strength training. If you think you may be suffering from hypermobility and would like any help or advise our chiropractors would be happy to assist.