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Joint hypermobility syndrome

Joint hypermobility syndrome is where you get pain and stiffness from having very flexible joints.

Symptoms of joint hypermobility syndrome include joint pain and stiffness, and regularly spraining or dislocating your joints.

Treatment for joint hypermobility syndrome usually involves exercises to help protect your joints and painkillers if they're needed.

Joint hypermobility syndrome can run in families. The joints are loose and the skin is stretchy because the tissues they're made of are weak.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of joint hypermobility syndrome include joint pain and stiffness, and regularly spraining or dislocating your joints.

See a GP if you:

These can be symptoms of joint hypermobility syndrome.

What happens at your GP appointment

A GP will usually test the flexibility of your joints using the Beighton score.

They may also refer you for a blood test or X-ray to help rule out any other conditions like arthritis.

Read more on the NHS website.

Treatment for joint hypermobility syndrome usually involves exercises to help protect your joints and painkillers if they're needed.

Medical treatments

There's no cure for joint hypermobility syndrome.

The main treatment is improving muscle strength and fitness so your joints are better protected.

A GP may refer you to a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or podiatrist for specialist advice.

You can also pay for these services privately.

These physical therapies can help to:

  • reduce pain and the risk of dislocations
  • improve muscle strength and fitness
  • improve your posture and balance

Treating joint pain

Paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers (like ibuprofen, which comes as tablets, gels and sprays) may help to ease pain.

Speak to a pharmacist about the best painkiller for you.

A GP may be able to prescribe stronger painkillers.

If you're in severe pain, a GP may be able to refer you to a pain clinic to help you cope with pain.

To help ease joint pain and stiffness, you can:

  • have warm baths
  • use hot water bottles
  • use heat-rub cream

Self-care

If you have joint hypermobility syndrome, there are things you can do to improve joint and muscle strength and reduce strain.


Do

  • start with low-impact exercise like swimming or cycling if you've not been active before (not doing any exercise can make your symptoms worse)

  • maintain a healthy weight

  • wear supportive shoes

  • wear special insoles (orthotics) in your shoes if a podiatrist has recommended them


Don't

  • do not overextend your joints just because you can

  • do not do repetitive exercises or activities – take regular breaks (called pacing)

Read more on the NHS website.

Joint hypermobility syndrome can run in families. The joints are loose and the skin is stretchy because the tissues they're made of are weak.

Read more on the NHS website.