What is it?
Hypermobility, also known as joint hypermobility or hypermobile joints, refers to an increased range of motion in the joints beyond what is considered normal or average. Normally, joints have a certain degree of flexibility that allows for movement and function while maintaining stability. However, in hypermobile individuals, the ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues that support the joints are more lax or stretchy, allowing for greater joint mobility.
People with joint hypermobility may complain about:
- Joint hyperextension or the feeling of instability in a joint
- Frequent or chronic joint pain or pain in the surrounding muscles and tendons
- Joint clicking or popping
- Increased repetitive stress injuries surrounding a hypermobile joint
While hypermobility can provide certain advantages, such as increased flexibility in activities like gymnastics or dance, it can also present challenges and risks. Hypermobile joints are more prone to injuries, such as sprains, strains, and dislocations, due to the reduced stability provided by the lax ligaments and tendons. It’s crucial for individuals with hypermobility to maintain proper strength and stability in their joints through exercise, conditioning, and, if necessary, physical therapy to minimize the risk of injuries and promote long-term joint health.