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  • Writer's pictureDr. Rory Dopps

Understanding Hypermobile Joints: Balancing Flexibility and Stability



A chiropractor assisting a patient with hypermobile joints, demonstrating a strengthening exercise to improve stability.
A person using a resistance band for a targeted muscle strengthening exercise, focusing on supporting hypermobile joints.

Have you ever wondered if your joints are more flexible than they should be? You might be dealing with hypermobility, a condition that offers impressive flexibility but also comes with risks for joint stability and health.


Hypermobile joints, often referred to as "double-jointedness," allow for an increased range of motion beyond normal limits. While this can be beneficial in some activities, it also poses significant risks for joint health if not managed properly. In this article, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, risks, and management strategies for hypermobile joints, highlighting the importance of professional care and proper techniques to maintain joint stability and overall health.


What Are Hypermobile Joints?


Hypermobile joints are those that move beyond the normal range of motion due to differences in connective tissue composition. Common areas affected include the fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, and shoulders. This condition can be caused by genetic factors such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Marfan syndrome, which are connective tissue disorders, or developmental factors that affect the structure of collagen and elastin.


Symptoms and Risks


Symptoms:

  • Frequent joint dislocations or subluxations

  • Chronic pain or aching in the joints, especially after activity

  • Muscle fatigue and weakness around the hypermobile joints


Risks:

  • Increased risk of joint injuries and degenerative joint conditions

  • Development of chronic pain conditions like arthritis

  • Potential impact on overall mobility and quality of life


Diagnosing and Assessing Hypermobile Joints


Healthcare providers diagnose hypermobility through a physical examination and assessment of joint flexibility, often using the Beighton score. This score evaluates the extent of joint hypermobility, with higher scores indicating greater flexibility.


The DUTCH Test (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) can also play a crucial role in identifying underlying deficiencies that contribute to hypermobility issues. This test detects hormonal imbalances and nutrient deficiencies, which are essential for improving joint stability and health.


Managing Hypermobile Joints


Strengthening Exercises: Building muscle strength around hypermobile joints is vital for providing support and stability. Exercises targeting muscles around the affected joints, along with balance training and core strengthening, can significantly enhance overall stability. Resistance bands can be used to perform a variety of strengthening exercises that help support hypermobile joints and improve stability.


Proper Stretching Techniques: While flexibility is beneficial, it is crucial to avoid overstretching ligaments. Focus on stretches that improve muscle flexibility without stressing the ligaments. Incorporate dynamic and static stretches that maintain joint health without causing overstretching.


Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic adjustments can help manage hypermobility by stabilizing joints and preventing injuries. Chiropractors use specific techniques to realign and stabilize hypermobile joints, creating personalized treatment plans to address individual needs and support joint health.


Nutritional Support and Supplementation


Maintaining a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals is crucial for supporting joint health in individuals with hypermobility. Foods that promote collagen production, such as bone broth, leafy greens, and citrus fruits, are particularly beneficial.


Supplement Recommendation: ArthroSoothe™ from Designs for Health provides comprehensive support for joint health and integrity, making it an ideal supplement for individuals with hypermobile joints.


Conclusion


Proper management of hypermobile joints is essential to prevent long-term complications and ensure optimal joint health. By balancing flexibility with stability through targeted exercises, chiropractic care, and proper nutrition, individuals with hypermobility can reduce pain, prevent injuries, and improve their quality of life.


Call to Action: Struggling with hypermobile joints? Visit doppskc.com to schedule an online consultation with Dr. Rory Dopps and learn how a combination of chiropractic care, targeted exercises, and the DUTCH Test can help you achieve optimal joint health and stability.

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