Everything to Know About Hypermobility Syndromes

By December 16, 2020Blog
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Hypermobility disorder is an umbrella term that is used to generally describe patients with hypermobile joints with symptoms. Hypermobile joints are not a type of disease or a form of diagnosis. It is a term that describes joints that move at a greater range of motion than what is considered normal. This condition becomes a disorder when there are symptoms associated with it such as instability, pain, impeded activity, and function.

Causes of Hypermobility Disorder

The mobility and stability of joints is determined by several factors. Common factors include:

  • The shape of the bones
  • Previous injury
  • Training
  • Muscle strength
  • Proprioception (the way we perceive the movement and position of our joints)
  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Hormones
  • Gender

The hypermobility disorder may or may not be caused by underlying Connective Tissue Disorder. Major structures of our bodies are made up of connective tissues. Connective tissues support muscles, bones, blood vessels, ligaments, gastrointestinal systems, and so many other parts. When a person has connective tissue disorder, there are changes in the laxity and strength of the connective tissues throughout the body. Common conditions caused by connective tissue disorder include:

  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Loeys-Dietz Syndrome
  • Marfan Syndrome

When a person has connective tissue disorder, they will most likely have hypermobile joints as well as other symptoms throughout their body.

Signs of Hypermobility Disorder

Persons with hypermobility disorder may have one or several hyper-mobile joints throughout the body. The knees and elbows may hyper-extend or the fingers may bend backwards extremely far. Simply put, any joint can be affected. In some cases, the affected joints may lack control or be painful.

Other symptoms include:

  • Headaches or migraines
  • Abnormal skin (the skin may stretch quite far or scar easily)
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, bloating, fatigue, early satiety, and pelvic organ prolapse
  • Anxiety

In most cases, persons with hypermobility disorder may have disturbances in the autonomic nervous system and may experience Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. With this syndrome, the heart rate may increase abnormally when you change your position. It is also common for a person to experience fainting spells, feel light-headed, get blurred vision, or blackout when they change positions abruptly.

Do you have hypermobility disorder?

If you suspect you have this disorder, you need to answer these questions:

  • Can you place your hands flat on the floor without bending the knees?
  • Can you bend your thumb to touch your forearm?
  • When you were young, did you amuse friends by contouring your body into strange shapes or do splits?
  • As a child, did you dislocate your kneecap or shoulder?
  • Do you think of yourself as ‘double-jointed’?

If your answer was yes to two or more of these questions, you may have generalized joint hypermobility.

Treatment for Hypermobility Disorder

The best option is to work with a physiotherapist. A chiropractor or physiotherapist will assess your range of motion as well as stability and show you how to activate deep stabilizing muscles that surround the affected joints. You will also be taught how to keep your joints in a safe and neutral position.

If you need a reliable physiotherapy clinic in Ajax or Pickering, The Center for Physical Health is your best bet. We will give you tailored exercise programs that focus on improving your balance, strength, and position awareness. We will also treat any painful muscles and joints using manual therapy. CP Health is a sports medicine clinic, offering physiotherapy in Ajax and Pickering. To book an appointment CALL NOW at ? (905) 239-5001

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