Have you ever been described as double jointed? Do you suffer with joint pain? Are your joints really flexible? It could be that you have joint hypermobility syndrome.
Hypermobility syndrome tends to be an inherited condition and you can't do anything to prevent it. People with joint hypermobility syndrome have more flexible joints because their collagen within the connective tissue around the joints is looser than normal. There is nothing you can do to change the collagen.
How is joint hypermobility diagnosed?
There are a number of tests that can be performed to diagnose hypermobility syndrome. One of which is the beighton score, this is a quick test to determine if you are hypermobile. A high score would indicate you are hypermobile but not necessarily diagnose you as having hypermobility syndrome. The scores are as follows:
One point if while standing forward bending you can place palms on the ground with legs straight
One point for each elbow that bends backwards
One point for each knee that bends backwards
One point for each thumb that touches the forearm when bent backwards
One point for each little finger that bends backwards beyond 90 degrees.
The maximum score for this test is 9. If you score 5/9 as an adult or 6/9 as a child you are considered hypermobile.
This takes into consideration your beighton score as well as joint pain, trauma (such as dislocation), skin laxity, amongst other things. There are certain criteria that must be present to diagnose joint hypermobility syndrome. This can be done by a medical professional.
What can I do if I have hypermobile joints?
There is nothing you can do to strengthen the collegen in the connective tissue around the joints, however, there is evidence to suggest that exercise is a valuable treatment for hypermobile joints. Clinical Pilates is a great way to build up strength and support around all your joints. Try our Pilates for hypermobility section.