Hypermobility refers to the ability of a joint to move beyond what is considered a normal range of motion. This can be present in one joint, or widespread throughout the body. Widespread hypermobility is often due to connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers Danlos syndrome, or EDS. Hypermobile EDS (hEDS) is the classification of EDS which has not yet been linked to a particular gene and affects the collagen in the ligaments throughout the musculoskeletal system. This is more common in females and typically improves with age.
Hypermobility in any form can cause repetitive stress on joints, which may result in subluxations or even dislocations. This will further impact the stability of the joint, and overuse of the tendons and muscles surrounding that joint. Ultimately, this can lead to chronic pain if not properly addressed.
Many people with hypermobility disorders experience pain and fatigue with activity, which can be very challenging to overcome. Symptoms can interfere with daily activities, work, school, and recreational activities. Conditions such as hEDS are commonly associated with other disorders, which can also have a great impact on activity tolerance. Because symptoms are so variable, patients are often misdiagnosed with other chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia.
Physical therapy can be very beneficial to improving symptoms and the quality of life for those affected by hypermobility. At AFPT, we have physical therapists trained to assist you in managing these symptoms and improving quality of life.
Article By: Nicole Wenger, PT, DPT