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What is hypermobility

09/06/2016 by Pivotal Motion

What is hypermobility

hypermobilityA common contributor to patient pain and instability occurs through hypermobility, or excessive movement, of joints.

Hypermobility is a condition that is fairly common in the normal population. It refers to joints that are capable of moving beyond their expected range of motion. Many patients who demonstrate hypermobility may be considered to be double jointed.

Hypermobility does not guarantee that a patient will experience problems. Many patients demonstrating hypermobile joints can function with happy healthy lives without requiring assistance. Hypermobility only becomes a problem when the extra movement impacts on normal function.

One common presentation of hypermobile joints occurs in flat feet. The ligaments within the joints of the feet have trouble holding the bones in an upright, neutral position. As a result, the feet can flatten out.

Often with the flattening out of a foot we will also witness a rolling in movement. This movement can cause the leg and knee to twist inward, creating a change in the distribution of pressure through the knee and hip.

Hypermobility can also be seen in knees. This can cause general joint instability, or a tendency for the knee to bend backwards (hyperextend). These forces can cause abnormal stress on the joint which may lead to pain.

Participating in activity, such as running, increases the amount of force experienced through the leg and foot, and as such can exaggerate any abnormal movement.

Your Pivotal Motion Physio or Podiatrist can help to identify whether hypermobility is a concern for your joints. They can assist you with ways to manage it through appropriate strengthening and stretching exercises, footwear, or orthotic therapy.


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