Hypermobility Syndrome (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
In this Article
- Hypermobility syndrome facts
- What is the joint hypermobility syndrome?
- What causes joint hypermobility syndrome?
- What are the symptoms and signs of joint hypermobility?
- How is joint hypermobility syndrome diagnosed?
- How is hypermobility syndrome treated?
- Can joint hypermobility syndrome be prevented?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for those affected by joint hypermobility syndrome?
- Find a local Orthopedic Surgeon in your town
What are the symptoms and signs of joint hypermobility?
Because the joints are capable of excessive motion in people with the joint hypermobility syndrome, they are susceptible to injury. Symptoms of the joint hypermobility syndrome include pain in the knees, fingers, hips, and elbows. There is a higher incidence of dislocation and sprains of involved joints. Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) occurs more frequently in people with hypermobile joints. Joint hypermobility tends to decrease with aging as we become naturally less flexible.
Signs of the syndrome are the ability to place the palms of the hands on the floor with the knees fully extended, hyperextension of the knee or elbow beyond 10 degrees, and the ability to touch the thumb to the forearm.
How is joint hypermobility syndrome diagnosed?
Joint hypermobility syndrome is diagnosed by examining affected joints and noting that they easily move beyond the normal range expected. For example, the middle of the fingers may bend backward more than usual.
How is hypermobility syndrome treated?
Often joint hypermobility causes no symptoms and requires no treatment. Many individuals with joint hypermobility syndrome improve in adulthood. Treatments are customized for each individual based on their particular manifestations. Joint pains can be relieved by medications for pain or inflammation. Proper physical fitness exercise can strengthen muscles and stability, but the nature of the exercise should be designed to avoid injury to joints.
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