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What is Hypermobility Syndrome?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Hypermobility syndrome is a medical condition in which various joints of the body move beyond that which is considered normal. This condition tends to run in families and is believed to be due to a genetic collagen abnormality. Common symptoms of hypermobility syndrome include an increased risk of accidental injury and varying degrees of pain. Treatment may involve the use of medications or exercise therapy, although many people do not require any kind of medical treatment.

Joint pain associated with hypermobility syndrome is most frequently seen in the knees, hips, and elbows. As the joints move more than normal, especially in these areas, accidental injury is common, especially in those who are physically active. Dislocated joints are among the most common accidental injuries, especially in those who participate in sports or other physically demanding activities. In many cases, the patient can learn to compensate for this tendency by paying extra attention to each movement.

Hypermobility syndrome often presents in early childhood, and children will often outgrow the condition before reaching adulthood. Others may continue to have symptoms into adulthood, although the severity of the symptoms may lessen as the person gets older. There are some people who struggle with this condition throughout life. There is no way to accurately predict how this disorder will affect a particular individual.

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Some patients with hypermobility syndrome will never experience symptoms and will never need any kind of medical intervention. Others may experience varying degrees of joint pain. Over-the-counter pain medications often provide sufficient pain relief, although stronger medications can be prescribed by a doctor if necessary.

Exercise can often strengthen the muscles that surround the affected joints, reducing the pain associated with hypermobility syndrome in many cases. It is important that the proper exercises are performed so that additional damage does not occur. A doctor or physical therapist can help the patient develop an individualized exercise program.

Proper posture and the use of correct body mechanics, especially when lifting, is essential in patients with hypermobility syndrome. Often, physical activities have to be modified in order to reduce the risks of injury. Supportive devices such as splints or braces may have to be used by some patients. Most patients are able to live relatively normal lives in spite of this connective tissue disorder, often with very few lifestyle modifications. Any questions or concerns should always be discussed with a doctor.

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