HYPERMOBILITY SPECTRUM DISORDER
What is Hypermobility?
Hypermobility is a term used to describe the ability to move joints beyond their normal range of movement. Joint hypermobility is common in the general population and is prevalent in approximately 10% of white Caucasians but is more prevalent in Asians and Afro-Caribbeans. Some people may only be more flexible in a few joints but sometimes all the joints may be flexible. Sometimes this is called ”double jointed”.
Most people who are hypermobile have no major musculoskeletal problems and, in fact, the inherent joint flexibility gives an advantage in many fields such as swimming, javelin, tennis, gymnastics, judo, and playing musical instruments.
However, some hypermobile people can develop musculoskeletal symptoms such as soft tissue injuries, joint and spinal pain. Some joints may feel clicky or catching or may even sublux or in extreme cases can dislocate. Pain and fatigue are common features as well as muscle weakness. This is called Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder and is an inherited disorder of connective tissue which results in a mesh-like collagen matrix which is more fragile and more lax (or elastic) than ‘normal’ collagen. Any connective tissue in the body can be affected and this includes ligaments of joints, skin, walls of blood vessels and supporting structures in the pelvis. Other clinical features may include stretchy skin, keloid or papery scarring, varicose veins, aneurysms, and rectal/vaginal prolapse. People who have some of these features may be diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Can you help people with Hypermobility?
Yes! A specialist Physiotherapist will be able to explain more about your condition and how you can learn to manage your symptoms. The physiotherapist will carry out a thorough assessment of your movements; how you walk, stand and sit. Your joints will be tested as well as length and strength of your muscles. Based on the assessment findings, the physiotherapist will treat your joints using gentle manual therapy techniques, advise you on correct postures, relaxation techniques as well as a programme of strength and conditioning exercises.
The physiotherapist can also advise you on the management of other conditions such as postural orthostatic hypotension (POTS).
Can you help children with Hypermobility?
Yes! A specialist Physiotherapist is able to assess school aged children and teenagers.
Have you got a question or do you need to talk to us?
If you would prefer to talk to us before making an appointment you can request that we call you back at a suitable date and time