The term hypermobility is used to describe a person who has more than the usual amount of movement or flexibility in a joint. This occurs in around 20% of the population. Being extra bendy can be an advantage for certain athletes and performing artists such as dancers, gymnasts, circus performers, musicians and swimmers.
Some people with hypermobility may develop pain and are at greater risk of injury due to their high levels of mobility. If this pain becomes long lasting and occurs in multiple areas then they can be diagnosed with Hypermobility Spectrum disorder (HSD). The word spectrum means there is a large range of presentations, from generally coping with a normal lifestyle with occasional pain to being quite severely affected.
What is hypermobility?
The underlying difference in those with hypermobility, is that these people usually a more flexible type of collagen. Collagen is the fibrous substance that makes up the ligaments and capsules that surround and support our joints, tendons that join muscles to bone, and is an important component of our skin, other connective tissues, our gut, nerves and blood vessels. This is why some people with hypermobility will not only be flexible in their joints but may have digestive issues (IBS, reflux, bloating etc), circulatory issues (feeling faint when standing up too quickly, dizziness, racing heart), stretch marks and scar easily.
What is the treatment?
Physiotherapy can help with hypermobility as it can help with injuries and pain. It works with the tissues in the body to help with strength, endurance, posture and balance.
Our physiotherapists can offer a range of methods and techniques to help with the condition. This includes help with muscle weakness and pain and to work on proprioception (ability to judge position of your joints and limbs), posture and balance. Muscle strength can help with joints stability by strengthening the surrounding tissue. Muscle are often weaker due to the laxity of the tendons which can make it harder to produced force. Strength exercises can therefore reduce the likelihood of dislocations/ subluxations by helping the ligaments get stronger and more stable.
Education and knowledge is also a large part of our treatment. Your physiotherapist will teach you about stiffness and the best ways to manage this
- Give you Hints and Tips to cope with everyday life
- Advise on taping and bracing
- Discuss pain management strategies and understanding the underlying mechanisms associated with chronic pain
- Discuss about the hypermobility spectrum including – Hypermobile Spectrum Disorders and Hypermobile-Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and other connective tissue disorders
- Teach you about non- musculoskeletal symptoms that are commonly related to hypermobility
How can our physiotherapists help you
Communication with the physiotherapist is essential to getting the most out of the sessions. Helping the therapist understand how the movement feels, any symptoms or pain and whether it is too easy or hard will help with setting the right prescription and exercises. The therapist will also help you to understand how to move correctly and what muscles to use appropriately. They should be aware of any injuries, what movement creates injury and pain and how you move. This will help establish a better movement pattern to reduce and prevent further injuries.
Just because you can over stretch doesn’t mean you should. Physiotherapy will help you to understand the better way of move and improving techniques to get the most gains.
At Home Physio Group all our physios are equipped with skills to help those with hypermobility. Our physiotherapists can assess your problem, diagnose, and establish its severity. From their assessment, our physiotherapists will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan with attainable goals.
For more information please contact us on 0330 335 1016 or alternatively please fill out our contact sheet and we will get back to you.