Joint hypermobility refers to the ability of joints to move beyond their normal range of motion. It is a condition characterized by increased flexibility in one or more joints due to loose or lax connective tissues, such as ligaments and tendons. While joint hypermobility is relatively common and may not cause significant issues for some individuals, it can lead to symptoms and complications in others. Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) are two common conditions associated with joint hypermobility.
Treatment for joint hypermobility focuses on managing symptoms and preventing complications. Common treatment strategies are physical therapy, massage, exercise, pain medications, braces, and lifestyle modifications.
It's important to note that treatment approaches can vary based on individual needs and the severity of symptoms. Consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a rheumatologist or a physical therapist, is recommended for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan.
Given the nature of joint hypermobility syndromes and its underlying genetic causes, traditional chiropractic manipulation techniques such as spinal adjustments or joint manipulations, are not recommended for individuals with hypermobility disorders. High velocity manipulative therapies may potentially exacerbate joint hypermobility or cause injury, as the connective tissues in some individuals are more fragile and prone to damage.
Instead, chiropractors may focus on treating the soft tissues and using alternative modalities to provide pain relief and improve joint stability in individuals with joint hypermobility. Techniques such as electric muscle stimulation, low-level light therapy, and laser therapies may be considered to manage pain without the use of high-velocity manipulations.
It's essential for individuals with joint hypermobility or related conditions to work with a healthcare team including medical geneticists, rheumatologists, physical therapists, pain specialists, and other specialists as needed.
Tinkle, B. T., Bird, H. A., Grahame, R., & Lavallee, M. (2009). The lack of clinical distinction between the hypermobility type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and the joint hypermobility syndrome (a.k.a. hypermobility syndrome). American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, 149A(11), 2368-2370. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33148
Castori, M., Hakim, A., & Grahame, R. (2018). Joint hypermobility syndrome. The Lancet, 391(10139), 1759-1773. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30490-8
The Ehlers-Danlos Society: https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD): https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/ehlers-danlos-syndromes/
American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG): https://www.acmg.net/ACMG/Publications/Practice_Guidelines/ACMG/Publications/Practice_Guidelines/ACMG_Guidelines_and_Standards/EDS_Guidelines.aspx