Hypermobility, what it is and how can chiropractic help

Hypermobility, what it is and how can chiropractic help

Hypermobility is a hereditary connective tissue disorder that is defined as the ability to move a joint beyond its normal range of motion. It can be wide spread throughout the body affecting many joints or more localised to one or two joints.

The pathophysiology of hypermobility is not yet fully understood, but it is thought to be related to a systemic collagen abnormality, which in-turn results in weakened collagen fibres and an increase in the elasticity to the effected ligaments. The ligaments play a crucial role of providing stability to all joints within the body. If the ligaments are not providing enough stability to the joint, this can often result in pain and stiffness to the joint.

Classic symptoms that are commonly experienced are:

  • Pain, swelling and stiffness to associated joint
  • Clumsiness
  • Joints that are easily dislocated
  • Stretchy skin
  • Digestive issues such as IBS, nausea and bloating.
  • Daily fatigue
  • Injuries that tend to reoccur such as muscle strains or sprains
  • Traumatic arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Hypermobility is diagnosed by the patient’s  history and physical examination. The Brighton Criteria is then applied to determine whether it is either a major or minor category. The Brighton Criteria is used to calculate the amount of joint hypermobility on a scale of 0-9, where 0 indicates no hypermobility and 9 indicates hypermobility in multiple body sites, such as lower back, elbow, hand, knees and neck.

Chiropractic care can be a great way to manage hypermobility. Specific adjustments can be applied to remove any misalignments and restore optimal function.

Proprioception is known as the bodies sixth sense, the spinal adjustments stimulate the proprioceptive receptors, which in turn improve the joint’s ability to perceive and send messages back to the brain.