Hypermobility syndrome is more common in women than in men and is a disease in which the joints have become too flexible. This can cause joints to become overstretched and sometimes dislocate. Often there are mainly muscle pain and fatigue. How does this disease develop and what is the treatment?
What is hypermobility syndrome?
With hypermobility syndrome, one becomes hypermobile: the joints become too mobile. This can cause a joint to dislocate, also called dislocation. This often occurs in the shoulder, but dislocation is also most common in the fingers. Many patients with hypermobility syndrome experience daily pain complaints.
Hypermobility syndrome does not just happen. Women suffer from it more often than men. People of Asian descent are also more likely to experience it. Sometimes hypermobility syndrome occurs more often within one family and can therefore be hereditary. Often no direct cause is found. In hypermobility syndrome, the ligaments are too weak. These ligaments should normally keep the joint firmly in place. The muscles must take over the task of the ligaments and keep the joint in place.
Pain complaints and other symptoms
Many patients experience pain complaints. The muscles are overloaded more quickly and fatigue occurs more quickly. Simple household chores can sometimes be too much and are often punished with pain. This is often palpable as muscle pain accompanied by cramps. This can occur in attacks. There are often periods when there are no pain complaints, alternating with severe pain. Walking can cause pain in the ankles and knees. Household work mainly on the fingers and hands. The back can also become painful, especially in the lower back. Neck pain can also occur due to a changed position of the spine.
Another complaint is the dislocation of a joint, usually the shoulder or one of the phalanges. Because the ligaments are too weak, a joint is more likely to dislocate. Dislocation causes severe pain and a strange position of the joint. The knee also often dislocates more quickly. In addition, complaints may occur that are strongly reminiscent of pelvic instability, which can often arise from pregnancy. Some people may bend the joint into an unnatural position. For example, people with hypermobility syndrome can often bend the thumb far back or bend the thumb towards the wrist. Elbows and knees can also be stretched. Cracking of the joints is also a well-known symptom. The joints can also become inflamed. Some people experience no complaints at all or only vague complaints that cannot be identified.
Most people have to learn to live with hypermobility syndrome. Work or household tasks must be carried out in doses. Because the muscles have to hold the joints in place, they tire more quickly. This must be taken into account. Certain sports are too stressful for people with hypermobility syndrome. Running, athletics, jumping and other sports that place a lot of strain on the joints are not recommended. Certain sports such as dancing are pleasant for people with hypermobility syndrome because of the great mobility. However, care must also be taken here that not too much is required of the muscles.
Physiotherapy can strengthen the muscles, allowing them to withstand more strain. This is recommended in all cases of hypermobility syndrome. The problem with hypermobility syndrome is that joints often dislocate unexpectedly, resulting in the need for hospital treatment. Bones can also grow crooked, resulting in surgery. Some people benefit from wearing a brace that prevents the joint from folding up too far or becoming overstretched. Adjusted shoe soles can alleviate knee problems.
Painkillers are sometimes prescribed for severe pain complaints. Anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for inflamed joints. Other treatment is not possible: the disease cannot be cured with medication or surgery. Treatment therefore mainly consists of combating the complaints. Many people can live quite well with hypermobility syndrome. Young children learn to deal with it faster than older people. In young children, growth abnormalities may occur earlier that need to be corrected by a doctor.
- Creaking joints: cause and treatment
- Wear of joints