Ten Top Tips: Hypermobility
At Actify, we help individuals with hypermobility take control of their lives and get back to doing what they love. This means that we see a lot of hypermobility patients each week. Through our decade of experience we have learned so much about hypermobility and how to live with hypermobility.
We want to share this knowledge with you so here’s ten of our top tips for living with hypermobility.
Hypermobility is very common – 1 in 10 adults are hypermobile in some of their joints and it often runs in families. 100% of professional ballerinas and Olympic gymnasts are hypermobile – it can help for children to know about people who use their hypermobility to an advantage. It is normal for very young children to have a far greater range of movement than adults and this becomes less common as children get older.
Where there are symptoms, such as activity related to musculoskeletal pain, recurrent ankle sprains, occasional short lived joint swelling and handwriting difficulties, and no other cause for these symptoms can be identified, the diagnosis of hypermobility can be made.
Hypermobility alone should not stop children from doing Physical Education class and sports or attending school. Exercise is therapeutic and should be encouraged but may need to be built up gradually. Exercise which improves core strength such as Pilates and yoga are particularly helpful. Clinical Pilates is even better as you or your child will get one-on-one attention from a trained clinician who specializes in hypermobility, ensuring the full safety of the exercise at all times.
Check for peripheral hypermobility – at fingers, wrists, and toes – as well as more centrally at elbows and knees. The Beighton score is a tool for assessing hypermobility in adults.
Consider Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome as a cause of hypermobility. This largely unknown disease is actually very common and a major symptom is hypermobility. Ask you doctor if you could have EDS.
Also consider Marfans as a cause of hypermobility if there is a family history or other suggestive symptoms.
Pain associated with hypermobility tend to respond poorly to analgesia and should be avoided.
If you suspect a secondary cause, or symptoms are severe or causing persistent disruption to your life, see a doctor to get a diagnosis and begin healing.
There is no evidence that hypermobility leads to arthritis of any description.
If hypermobility is getting in the way of your day-to-day life, see a physical therapist who specializes in treating hypermobility. We want to caution you against non-trained PT’s as it’s more common to get hurt and make matters worse. A PT trained in hypermobility (or who has experienced it themselves) will know how to strengthen your joints without causing additional pain or issues.