CategoryJoints & Bones

Joint Hypermobility Syndrome: What is it?

Joint hypermobility syndrome is a condition that affects an individual’s joints. As much as 30% of the population find their joints can be incredibly mobile and move completely out of the normal range of movements. Those who suffer from this condition often have a list of ‘Party tricks’ that they did when they were at school, and some of the positions they can get into are almost impossible for those whose joints are not as flexible.

While this syndrome may seem rather extraordinary, many people find they can live with the condition without seeking medical intervention. In this case, the condition is simply known as ‘Joint Hypermobility’

The Symptoms

Unfortunately some people suffer from pain and soft tissue injuries which can cause them mild to severe discomfort, sometimes on a daily basis. This is when the condition is known as ‘Joint Hypermobility Syndrome’ because there are associated symptoms.

The symptoms that can potentially make even the smallest movement unbearable are:

  • Inflammation of the sheath that protects a tendon, otherwise known as ‘Tenosynovitis’
  • Joint pain and dislocation – this can occur when a joint comes out of place, and it can occur even if the sufferer has not been moving

This syndrome can also cause fatigue, and make day to day living very hard. The fatigue can seem to hit at any given moment and it can be so severe that some people have simply had to stop what they are doing and rest.

The Causes

This syndrome tends to run in families and is thought to be linked to a protein known as collagen that helps to keep two bones joined together. If the collagen is a lot weaker than it ideally should be, this is when joints and ligaments can become flexible, meaning the joints are able to move out of the normal range of movements.

Treatment

The good news is that Joint Hypermobility Syndrome can be treated to a degree. In most circumstances exercise that can strengthen the joints and the muscles that surround it is required. Because the muscles around a joint have to stretch further than they really should, they can become painful, torn or pulled. If the muscle is strengthened it is less likely to hurt. This means the occurrence and severity of pain felt will be lowered, and life can seem a whole lot better.

Managing injuries

Soft tissue injuries and dislocations are frequent for anyone who suffers from this syndrome. This means suffers ideally need to find a way to manage the injuries and symptoms they have on a daily basis. The use of painkillers and non-steroid anti-inflammatories may be the only way that pain can be relieved until the joint goes back into place or the soft tissue damage has been repaired.