What is Hypermobility?
Joint hypermobility is a term used to describe a larger than expected range of movement in a given joint.
Hypermobility is found on a spectrum from asymptomatic to severe. That means someone can have hypermobile joints and no pain or other problems, or they can have joints which easily dislocate or sublux, frequent or constant pain, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms. And then there are lots of people who fall somewhere in between – painful, unstable-feeling joints which cause some pain and/or fatigue but nothing extreme.
Michelle is experienced in assessing people with any level of hypermobility and working with them to make a plan of action to best manage their individual condition.
Is Hypermobility a Diagnosis Itself?
No, joint hypermobility is a term used to describe something we can see. It is not a diagnosis in or of itself. Joint hypermobility is found in varying degrees in the general population as well as in a range of different disorders. Some of the diagnoses where you may find hypermobility include:
The Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders
- Asymptomatic Generalised Joint Hypermobility
- Asymptomatic Peripheral Joint Hypermobility
- Asymptomatic Localised Joint Hypermobility
- Historical Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder
- Localised Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder
- Peripheral Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder
- Generalised Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder
Other Genetic Conditions:
- The Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes*
- Marfan Syndrome*
- Loeys-Dietz Syndrome*
- Coffin-Lowry Syndrome*
- Stickler Syndrome*
- Osteogenesis Imperfecta*
Many of these genetic* syndromes which involve hypermobility also have symptoms which can be life-threatening, and therefore need proper genetic diagnosis and management.
This is particularly the case in:
- Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
- Loeys-Dietz Syndrome
- Marfan Syndrome
Many of the hypermobility related conditions, including The Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders, have numerous other symptoms which can be life-interfering, including dysautonomia, POTS, gastrointestinal issues, pelvic organ prolapse, anxiety disorders, and sleep disturbances to name a few.
Joint hypermobility that isn’t managed well may lead to early onset osteoarthritis, another painful joint condition which is irreversible. Unfortunately, having one condition doesn’t make someone immune to others, and therefore it is not entirely unusual to see people with hypermobility and an inflammatory arthritis like Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Much of the medical and allied health fraternity haven’t caught up with the significance of hypermobility & its impact on the individuals’ life. People living with hypermobility conditions are often educating doctors about their condition. Knowledge is power. If you think you have a hypermobility condition, you can read more HERE
Why is Early Diagnosis & Management Important?
- Less pain
- Less disability
- Fewer unnecessary procedures and failed surgeries
- Fewer complications from surgeries and procedures
- Better fatigue management
- Greater ability to maintain meaningful employment
- Proactive management of co-occurring illnesses and symptoms
- Education of the patient so they can better self-manage their symptoms
- Better outcomes!!