Joint hypermobility simply means that you can move some or all of your joints more than most people can. Hypermobility itself isn’t a medical condition and many people don’t realise they are hypermobile if it doesn’t cause any problems. It might even be an advantage in sports, playing musical instruments or dance. Some people with hypermobile joints may have painful symptoms such as joint or muscle pain and may find that their joints are prone to injury or dislocation often. People having such symptoms are confirmed to be suffering from joint hypermobility syndrome.
Generalised joint hypermobility + symptoms = Joint Hypermobility Syndrome
Joint hypermobility is a hereditary connective tissue disorder passed on from parents, it more commonly seen in women than men, ethnic background – people in Indian sub-continent often have much more supple hands than Europeans, sometimes rigourous trainings and exercises can also make a person hypermobile for example by gymnasts and athletes. Yoga can also make the joints more supple by stretching the muscles. Recent research shows that people with Down’s syndrome are mostly hypermobile.
As mentioned earlier, being a hypermobile itself is not a medical condition to worry about, but when it comes with musculoskeletal pain even while doing simple tasks, it becomes a syndrome and a cause to worry. There’s no cure for joint hypermobility syndrome. The main care is to improve muscle strength and fitness so the joints are better protected. Self-care activities such as doing appropriate exercises and wearing comfortable, firm shoes helps. Doctors usually prescribe medications for pain and inflammation. The patient needs to accept the condition and understand about the condition which will help them to be careful and restrict extreme movements. Also, going for regular physical therapy can help with rehabilitation of injured areas and can be especially helpful to prevent reinjury.
Early diagnosis can sometimes rectify the condition, hence it is important to observe our children’s movements to identify if they display any such musculoskeletal flexibility and ensure to get appropriate anlaysis and treatment.