Joint Hypermobility Syndrome
Joint hypermobility means that some or all of a person's joints have an unusually large range of movement.
People with hypermobility are particularly supple and able to move their limbs into positions others find impossible.
Joint hypermobility is what some people refer to as having "loose joints" or being "double-jointed".
Hypermobile joints tend to be inherited in specific genes passed on by parents to their children. It is felt that these certain genes predispose to the development of hypermobile joints. As a result, there is a tendency of the condition to run in families. Genes that are responsible for the production of collagen, an important protein that helps to glue tissues together, are suspected of playing a role.
Many people with hypermobile joints don't have any problems, and some people – such as ballet dancers, gymnasts and musicians.
Symptoms of the joint hypermobility syndrome include pain in the knees, fingers, hips, and elbows.
If your doctor thinks that you may have joint hypermobility, the Beighton score is often used as a quick test to assess the range of movement in some of your joints.
However, this cannot be used to confirm a diagnosis, because it is important to look at all the joints.
Your doctor may also carry out blood tests and X-rays to rule out other conditions associated with joint pains, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Often joint hypermobility causes no symptoms and requires no treatment. Many individuals with joint hypermobility syndrome improve in adulthood. Treatments are customized for each individual based on their particular manifestations. Joint pains can be relieved by medications for pain or inflammation. Proper physical fitness exercise should be designed to avoid injury to joints. Home remedies include home exercises and acetaminophen (Tylenol), as needed. Sometimes physical therapy can help with rehabilitation of injured areas and can be especially helpful to prevent reinjury.