Hypermobility is a condition that exists when joints move beyond their normal, expected range. Often inherited, hypermobility is considered a benign condition, but it can cause an array of symptoms that could require treatment. Sometimes referred to as “loose joints” or being “double-jointed,” hypermobile joints can also be a side effect of a more severe medical condition.
SYMPTOMS OF HYPERMOBILITY
The main identifying symptom of hypermobility is when joints appear loose and move farther than the normal range of motion. However, it can lead to a number of other symptoms, including:
- Pain and discomfort in the joint
- A higher risk of joint dislocation or sprains
- Clicking joints
- Extreme fatigue
- Pain that worsens at nighttime or at the end of the day
CAUSES OF HYPERMOBILITY
In many cases, hypermobility is an inherited condition, but it could also be the result of a more serious medical condition or birth defect, such as:
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Down syndrome
- Marfan syndrome
Proper collagen is extremely important for healthy joints, and some individuals with this condition may not have the ideal amount of collagen to protect their joints, allowing for abnormal ranges of motion. Muscle tone and the shape of bones can also play a factor in hypermobile joints.
Hypermobility may only necessitate treatment if it causes significant pain or other unpleasant symptoms that affect daily life. Possible interventions may include therapy, medication or bracing. If this does not succeed in diminishing pain, injections may be useful. Treatments within the shoulders, elbows, hands, hips and knees may vary.