HypermobilitySan Francisco Hypermobility Syndrome

HYPERMOBILITY

An unexpected challenge

Hypermobility Syndrome describes a history of symptoms often related to pain and easily recognized by excess motion at multiple joints. Sometimes this is called Beneign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (BJHS). If you have been diagnosed as being hypermobile, the challenges you may face can be multi-faceted and numerous.

What is hypermobility?

People who have hypermobility syndrome have multiple joints that stretch further than normal, leading to frequent and often unrelated injuries. Those who have just one joint that needs to be stabilized, such as with an episode of low back pain, are not included in this description.Genetics determine who has hypermobility syndrome and who doesn’t. It’s inherited, usually from your mother, and is related to the makeup of your connective tissue. Hypermobility syndrome is more common in women than men at a ratio of 5:1.You might guess who these people are because they are often the stars of a yoga class because they stretch so easily into extreme positions. Frequently, genetically hypermobile people have a history of gynmastics when young, or cheerleadering, dance or athletics.

Physical Therapy and Hypermobility Syndrome / EHLERS DANLOS SYNDROME

It is ironic that those with hypermobility often feel that their muscles need to be stretched. This is due to muscles tightening as they try to stabilize the joints because of inherent looseness. HEALTHWELL has strategies to reduce this nervous system over-firing and address the core issues. Strengthening is only one solution to this pain; rest assured there are more.There is a strong association between hypermobility syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Some experts feel that the excessive pain with Fibromyalgia that is not necessarily present with hypermobility syndrome is due to oxygen deprivation. Do you think a gradually progressed program of walking would be helpful? If so, you may want to come to Healthwell's San Francisco Physical Therapy office and discuss this and other strategies to improve your self-management because ultimately, this is a health challenge to manage, not to cure.

Do you think you are hypermobile?

A simple self-test using the Beighton Test will give you an indication of whether or not some of your joints may be hypermobile. It takes less than two minutes, and may be the best way to place yourself on the “flexibility spectrum” and decide if an evaluation is worthwhile. Note that a high score does not indicate a diagnosis or even that there is a problem present, as other factors are used to determine an actual diagnosis.

Beighton Test for Hypermobility

The Beighton Test is a measurement tool used as an indicator of widespread hypermobility.
Try these maneuvers and give yourself 1 point for each movement you can do:

San Francisco Hypermobility Treatment

If you score 4 out of 9, you most likely have some form of hypermobility. Do this self-test gently and take care not to cause pain. Mention this test to your health provider and ask them to help you identify if your pain could be related to this issue. San Francisco Physical Therapy Healthwell may be able to help.

Encouraging news:
How HEALTHWELL physical therapy can help you

Heathwell Physical Therapy specializes in treating hypermobility syndrome and other connective tissue conditions known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. HEALTHWELL San Francisco physical therapists Mindy Marantz and Una Stoddard have focused on and understand this underestimated contributor to pain and injury, whether it results from a sports injury or otherwise.It is important that individuals with hypermobility syndrome remain as posturally aligned and fit as possible - more so than the average person - to prevent recurrent injuries. Because the signals from the “proprioceptors” don’t work as well with hypermobility syndrome (proprioception = where you are in space), postural integration programs, regular cardiovascular and strengthening exercise, and physical therapy using Pilates, and myofascial release or craniosacral therapy can all reduce symptoms of hypermobility and improve your control and well being.In addition, manual therapy and Feldenkrais tools can be used to help restore optimal diaphragmatic breathing mechanics and further support proprioceptive awareness. But be aware that this group likes to move fast, so the slowness of both Yoga and Feldenkrais can be a struggle, but the long-term benefits outweigh the agony of “slow!”These treatments can also help by reeducating tight, overused muscles and ensuring the patient uses their joints within the ideal ranges of motion, avoiding hyperextension or hyperflexion. Low-impact exercise such as Pilates or Tai Chi or Bones for Life is usually recommended for hypermobility, as it is less likely to cause injury than high-impact exercise or contact sports. Hypermobility symptoms may also include digestive disorders, urogenital difficulties in women, and emotional issues such as anxiety. HEALTHWELL uses a variety of advanced manual therapy and orthopedic lymphatic mobilization skills to contribute to improvement of these conditions.

San Francisco hypermobility

Lifestyle Changes

Hypermobility Syndrome requires education and preventative skills provided by a practitioner who understands the significance of hypermobility. At HEALTHWELL in San Francisco, we treat this common thread to your musculoskeletal organization with respect and intelligence, and teach you to do the same.For some people with hypermobility, lifestyle changes decrease the severity of symptoms.

For example:
• If writing is painful, try typing or using a larger circumference pen.
• If typing is painful, try voice control software or a more ergonomic keyboard.
• If standing is painful, check your shoes and shoe support.
• Avoid activities or positions that can bring on symptoms and always be aware of your alignment and posture.
• Decrease heavy exercise until you are totally ready for it in terms of both aerobic fitness and strength.
• Improve your posture with walking and strengthening. Weakened ligaments and muscles contribute to poor posture, which may result in scoliosis unless checked early.
• Choose a firm chair over a soft one, and make sure your mattress and pillow is comfortable and supportive.

Call HEALTHWELL for specialty care and treatment of hypermobility symptoms.

Healthwell: San Francisco Physical Therapy

Hypermobility Syndrome
1200 Gough Street, SF 415.921.1211