Hypermobility as a syndrome
With our increasingly sedentary society, we have been become used to the narrative of problems associated with poor range of motion; but what about when the opposite is true? For about 10% of the population, it is: rather than suffering from poor ROM, they have too much. Caused by a condition known as congenital or ligamentous laxity, people with joint hypermobility may be able to extend a given joint far beyond what we would consider normal- this is what people mean when they say they are “double-jointed.” And while hypermobility may be a blessing for, say, a young baseball pitcher, who can take advantage of it, it can also become a curse. Joint hypermobility often coincides with musculoskeletal issues including subluxation and stress fractures. When the pain, discomfort and dysfunction associated with hypermobility becomes chronic, we call it hypermobility syndrome.
When hypermobility leads to stiffness
Because your joint is so mobile, your body often takes measures to warn you against excessive motion. People with joint hypermobility often feel stiff, tight or sore, because their body is telling them that they need to stabilize- the joint is not capable of doing it itself. This is the key insight into treating hypermobility syndrome: focus on stability. Often, the worst thing someone with hypermobility can do is to stretch- this stresses the joint further and can actually cause unintended damage. When we treat people with hypermobility, we want to work with the ROM they already have and add stability into that joint. The most effective way to do this is through strength training.
Preventing pain and dysfunction from hypermobility…
…begins with getting the right diagnosis. It is unfortunate that the majority of people with hypermobility we see have been misdiagnosed in the past. Whether due to the carelessness or lack of knowledge of past practitioners, these individuals are not getting the right advice or treatment for stabilizing their hypermobile joints. At OFW Chiropractic, we begin with a full diagnostic analysis that tells us whether the root cause of your joint pain is hypermobility- often, the symptoms are obvious on the surface. Once we have a grasp on what is causing your problems, we can set a course for treatment that involves natural modalities like strength training. Give our office in Westwood a call to schedule an appointment today.