Hypermobility is a condition characterized by excessive mobility of the joints. It can be a single joint, but is frequently found in multiple joints. Often people will describe hypermobility as being “double jointed”. People with this condition basically have joints that are excessively “loose”, due to having more elasticity in their ligaments. This is not necessarily a problem if the person has very strong muscles to support the joints, but often these people do not.
When a patient with hypermobile joints comes to see us in PT, they frequently complain of pain in the joints, and sometimes will complain of the joint feeling as though it is slipping out of place. Typically these patients will have excessive range of motion in their joints; more than what we normally would see. Also, they often complain of their joints “cracking” or “snapping” all of the time.
The best remedy for hypermobility is strength! People with hypermobility do not need to stretch more, but rather strengthen more! They need stability, not flexibility. A good strengthening/stabilization program can help provide stability to the hypermobile joints, which can reduce symptoms and improve performance.
Mason Riegel, PT
Steve Bartz, PT