Patients’ symptoms, clinical findings, and reactions to therapeutic interventions should be considered while treating individuals with hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD). Patients can frequently be managed well by their primary care physician, who should coordinate the patient’s tailored, multidisciplinary treatment.
Hypermobility or HMS (Hypermobility Syndrome) was first defined in 1992 by a panel of experts who met at Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. The term is now used to describe those with hypermobile joints but does not experience other problems associated with the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS), such as poor wound healing or abnormally elevated collagen levels in their blood vessels. Of the 13 different types of EDS, HMS is most closely related to the EDS hypermobility type.
What Actually is Hypermobility?
Hypermobility is a hereditary condition that affects the joints and ligaments, which are the body parts that allow for movement. In hypermobility, these tissues are too stretchy or loose, which can cause an increased range of motion in a joint. Hypermobility syndrome (HMS) is a common occurrence in which people have hypermobile joints. It is estimated to affect 1% of the population and occur at any age.
Symptoms of hypermobility include:
- Easy bruising
- Joint pain
- Lax joints
- Muscle fatigue or weakness.
Children with hypermobility may experience delayed motor skills, such as walking and climbing stairs, and maybe more clumsy than other children their age.
What is the treatment of hypermobility?
There is no cure for hypermobility syndrome; however, there are treatments available to manage the symptoms associated with it.
- Treatments include physical therapy focusing on strengthening muscles around the affected joints as well as stretching exercises to help maintain flexibility in those joints. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve range of motion (ROM). Some people also benefit from wearing orthotics that support weak or unstable joints.
- As with any condition, they are staying active is essential in maintaining pain relief and increased ROM. A gradual increase in activity levels is recommended since moving an affected joint too quickly will worsen symptoms (pain or stiffness) and cause injury.
- Maintaining a healthy weight may also help to reduce the severity of symptoms.
- It is critical to change one’s behaviors in order to enhance posture and lessen tiredness. It is best to avoid activities that aggravate your symptoms. Reduce your exercise intensity and replace it with modest isometric training that needs less stretching and tugging.
- After an injury or discomfort occurs in a joint, it is feasible to begin using braces to support it and aid in its recovery. However, extreme caution should be exercised to avoid additional common weaknesses due to repeated bracing. Using shoe inserts and orthotics as a preventative strategy can be helpful when the ankles are involved.
- Due to the fact that HMS can induce inflammation and pain, several therapies, including anti-inflammatory drugs, have been tested in the United States and Europe to determine if they might assist in alleviating symptoms. Several of these treatments have been demonstrated to be successful. Numerous reasons for the use of tricyclic antidepressants have been advanced, including their pain-relieving properties, their ability to help in sleep, and their ability to treat depression caused by chronic pain or a chronic ailment. The use of seizure medications such as gabapentin or Lyrica to alleviate the burning feeling associated with HMS has had mixed results. Steroid shots and Tramadol, a non-narcotic pain medication that functions similarly to an opioid and is typically well-tolerated, were also employed. Muscle relaxants may be suggested as a last option for individuals who often experience unpleasant cramping around loose joints.
If these treatments do not provide adequate support for managing symptoms, your doctor may recommend any personalized medications depending on your body condition, age, gender etc.
When should you seek medical attention for hypermobile joints?
In most cases, patients with hypermobile joints do not experience any other symptoms and therefore do not require therapy for their disease.
If you experience any of the under given symptoms, you should visit a doctor:
- Pain in the loosened joint during or after movement
- Changes in the way your arms and legs work
- Changes in movement, particularly in the joints
- Changes in the look of the joint occur suddenly
What disorders are associated with joint hypermobility syndrome?
Joint hypermobility is also a symptom of a more serious medical illness known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which is characterized by a lack of strength in the body’s connective tissues and is rare and hereditary. Those with Down syndrome or Marfan syndrome are more likely to experience joint hypermobility than the general population.
What is the outlook for those with joint hypermobility syndrome?
Joint hypermobility syndrome usually has no long-term consequences. Conversely, hypermobile joints can induce joint pain. Joint hypermobility might eventually progress to degenerative cartilage and arthritis due to the constant stress placed on the affected joint. The risk of injury may be higher in hypermobile joints, such as those with torn ligaments.
What physicians treat hypermobility?
Family doctors, family therapists, primary care doctors, orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists treat hypermobility syndrome.
Is it feasible to avoid JHS?
Because JHS is inherited, there is no way to avoid it. However, when symptoms of joint hypermobility syndrome appear, it is possible to prevent injuries and receive adequate therapy