Joint Hypermobility Syndrome is a musculoskeletal disorder that can render the patient’s connective tissue more vulnerable to injury and mechanical failure. It can be associated with significant physiological distress and is now recognised as a significant contributor to chronic musculoskeletal pain. Hypermobility is easy to spot if you are looking for it, but very easy to miss if you are not.
Common musculoskeletal presentations include:
– Pain in the knees, hips, fingers and elbows
– Joint and muscle aches that are worse at night
– History of growing pains
– Orthostatic headache
– Pain or excessive fatigue after routine sport or exercise
– Vulnerability to injury
– Frequent sprains/strains and bruising
– Excessive clicking of joints e.g. jaw, fingers, knees, ankles
– Poor fine motor skills and messy handwriting
– Snapping or clicking of the hips with dance
– Joints that lock or go out of place e.g patella, shoulders, thumbs
– Adoption of end range postures e.g. slouch sitting
– Acute wry neck presentations
– Anterior knee pain and patellofemoral instability
– Poor posture and biomechanics, especially lower limbs
– Flat feet
– Non-specific low back pain (NSLBP)
– Joint effusions, especially knees
– Poor gait or running style
– Chronic widespread pain
Pain from Joint hypermobility Syndrome is commonly resistant to oral pain relief and can often be aggravated by any body movement. Commonly and intuitively, those with JHS resort to a strategy of movement avoidance as a way to avoid pain. This unfortunately has the effect of aggravating and compounding muscle deconditioning – the opposite of what is required in a hypermobile person whose joints are inherently ‘unstable’. Research has identified that posture, proprioception, education, strength and motor control are important components in achieving enhanced joint stability, as is physical activity and general fitness.
Chiropractic care for hypermobile patients specifically focuses on key joint levels that are restricted as a result of altered movement patterns. Adjustments re-establish correct movement patterns and, together with the right exercise and postural advice, enable patients longer bouts of easy and comfortable movement. If Joint Hypermobility sounds like something you are experiencing, make an appointment time with one of our experienced chiropractors to see how we can help you.