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If you have hypermobile joints, you’re able to extend them easily and painlessly beyond the normal range of motion. Hypermobility of the joints occurs when the tissues holding a joint together, mainly ligaments and the joint capsule, are too loose. Often, weak muscles around the joint also contribute to hypermobility.
The joints most commonly affected are the:
Hypermobility is a common condition, especially in children, since their connective tissues aren’t completely developed. A child with hypermobile joints may lose the ability to hyperextend as they age.
Having joint hypermobility may also be called:
Most commonly, hypermobile joints appear without any underlying health conditions. This is called benign hypermobility syndrome since the only symptom is hypermobile joints. It can be caused by:
Some people with hypermobile joints also develop stiffness or pain in their joints. This is called joint hypermobility syndrome.
In rare cases, hypermobile joints occur due to an underlying medical condition. Conditions that could potentially cause hypermobility include:
Usually, people with hypermobile joints don’t have other symptoms, so they don’t need treatment for their condition.
However, you should see a doctor if you have:
If you have joint hypermobility syndrome, treatment will focus on relieving pain and strengthening the joint. Your doctor may suggest you use prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers, creams, or sprays for your joint pain. They may also recommend certain exercises or physical therapy.
You’re more likely to dislocate or injure your joints through sprains of strains if you have hypermobile joints.
You can try the following to decrease your risk of complications:
Written by: Amber Erickson Gabbey
Medically reviewed on: Apr 24, 2017: Gregory Minnis, DPT
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