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We do have people visit the clinic quite regularly with hypermobility, or increased flexibility. Someone with hypermobility may be able to move their joints more than others – this is usually more common in early life so you might notice your joints are more flexible during childhood or early adulthood. It can also often be referred to as being ‘double-jointed’. If this is the case with a lot of joints in your body, you will have joint hypermobility. Normally hypermobility can become less of a problem as you age, as we naturally become less flexible as we age. Hypermobility in very rare cases can also be a sign of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – a condition affecting connective tissue in the body usually diagnosed in early childhood. Hypermobility is usually caused by chemical imbalance in the body leading to weakened collagen fibres and increased elasticity in the ligaments. This type of hypermobility can be inherited. It can also be caused by shallow bone sockets.

What Is Unhelpful For Hypermobility?

Generally speaking we do see a lot more ladies than men coming into the clinic with hypermobility, although it can affect men considerably as well. Those suffering with this type of problem can often gravitate towards exercises that entertain their flexibility – such as yoga or stretches – to tackle issues such as back pain or joint pain. This is mostly unhelpful for someone with hypermobility, since it doesn’t actually give this patient what they actually need. In today’s article we’ll be discussing what stress is placed on the body, why back or joint problems are common in hypermobility cases, and the one thing that patients with hypermobility need to be incorporating into their daily lives.

Why Is Stretching Bad For Hypermobility?

If you’ve got hypermobility, you have an enhanced flexibility in your body. This can be helpful for back pain on the one hand, but because there is usually less stability in your body, it’s essentially like walking through life on a wobble board. Your body is having to constantly work overtime to try and stabilise itself, as the joints that would support you are lax. These micro corrections your body is having to make are very difficult for your muscles to do on a daily basis.

If you then start to try and stretch your muscles to relieve any pain you’re having as a result of these corrections, you’re actually making the problem worse by creating increasingly more instability the more you stretch. If you are suffering with back pain and you’ve been trying to stretch to relieve muscle pain in your body, you need to take a step back and turn more to strengthening exercises. Giving more stability to your muscles is going to be a much more effective road to recovery, than trying to stretch your way out of muscle pain if you’re hyper-mobile. Introducing a few safe and gentle but strengthening exercises can actually improve the stability around your lumbar spine, and they will be more able to cope with that extra bracing work they need to do. We have developed our own exercise App with tried and tested exercises recommended by our Spinal Experts, which can be used to strengthen your back and core to support your body. To find out more about the App, click the link here: themayfairclinic.com/back-in-shape-home-edition/

What Other Problems Are Associated With Hypermobility?

Hypermobility associated with weakened collagen fibres can often experience other problems in the body linked to the collagen, namely muscle weakness in more noticeable areas. By that we mean, weakness in the muscles that help to squeeze food through your digestive system  – this can lead to issues such as constipation and bloating, or gastric reflux. This weakness can also affect the pelvic floor, which can lead to bladder instability. Heart valves can also be affected and may cause heart murmurs to be detected, while these may be asymptomatic they can also cause chest pain and palpitations. Most people with hypermobility may also have flat feet, or very high arches, this can cause more pain in the lower extremities, such as the feet, angle, legs, hips or lower back. If this affects you, getting some insoles to help support your arches is recommended – this will allow for less stress through your hips and back.

If you’re experiencing back pain that is resulting from hypermobility, this is something we can usually help with here at The Mayfair Clinic. In normal cases of hypermobility, treatment can be applied to the area to reduce levels of inflammation, vibration onto the muscles can help with any stiffness or soreness, and a strengthening programme can be recommended specifically for your problem. If you have any questions relating to the article today, please feel free to get in touch with us – either by calling on 0203 947 3222 or emailing at info@themayfairclinic.com.

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