For many individuals, joint hypermobility is both a blessing and a curse. Joint hypermobility means that your joints are more flexible than most people’s, and that may be an advantage in some areas of your life. Some of the world’s best athletes, dancers and musicians benefit from this added joint flexibility, but joint hypermobility isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Some people with extra flexible joints are more prone to injury, dislocation or general soreness.
At OrthoRehab Specialists, we treat patients suffering from physical problems related to their hypermobile joints. Below, we share a little bit more about how physical therapy can help treat symptoms related to hypermobility.
Physical Therapy For Hypermobility
Joint hypermobility is caused by the presence of an abnormal amount of collagen in a person’s joints. Individuals who are at an increased risk for joint hypermobility are women, athletes who rely on flexible movements (like dancers and gymnasts), individuals in their 30s and 40s and those with a history of the condition. The reason the condition become more noticeable in a person’s 30s and 40s is due to changes in the collagen fibers in your joints as you naturally age, which makes these flexible movements more stressful on these fibers.
Types of symptoms and conditions we see and treat in patients with hypermobility include:
- Repetitive muscles strains
- Joint stiffness
- Repeated ankle sprains
- Neck pain
- Soft tissue tears
Joint hypermobility can’t be cured with treatment, but there are ways to limit symptoms and prevent future problems. You’ll still have hypermobile joints, but with physical therapy, they’ll be better prepared to handle the rigors of daily movement and prevent problems related to your hypermobility.
Physical therapy is the most common course of treatment for hypermobile joints. The main reason why individuals with hypermobility find success through physical therapy exercises is because PT works to strengthen and condition the muscles around the hypermobile joints. If these muscles and soft tissues are stronger and better equipped to handle the stressful movements associated with hypermobility, it’s less likely that they’ll be overburdened and injured by hypermobile movements.
Work with a Physical Therapist
Your PT will work with you to create a physical therapy routine that carefully works to strengthen the muscles and ligaments near your hypermobile joints without causing the area to become overstressed. Oftentimes this is done with the help of gentle stretching and resistance band training instead of weights, so be mindful of your exercise routine as well if you have joint hypermobility. Limited weight bearing exercises, like swimming or cycling, have also been shown to be very helpful in treating joint hypermobility.
So if you’ve been plagued with joint pain or stiffness, or you believe that you may be suffering from joint hypermobility, reach out to the experienced team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations
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