April 24, 2024
Home » Effective Nonsurgical Treatments for Reducing Joint Hypermobility

Can individuals with joint hypermobility find relief through nonsurgical treatments in reducing pain and restoring body mobility?

Introduction

When a person moves their body, the surrounding muscles, joints, and ligaments are incorporated into various tasks that allow them to stretch and be flexible without pain or discomfort. Many repetitive motions enable the individual to continue their routine. However, when the joints, muscles, and ligaments are stretched farther than normal in the upper and lower extremities without pain, it is known as joint hypermobility. This connective tissue disorder can correlate with other symptoms that affect the body and cause many people to seek treatment to manage joint hypermobility symptoms. In today’s article, we will look at joint hypermobility and how various non-surgical treatments can help reduce pain caused by joint hypermobility and restore body mobility. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to assess how their pain may be associated with joint hypermobility. We also inform and guide patients on how integrating various non-surgical treatments can help improve joint function while managing the associated symptoms. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and insightful questions about incorporating non-surgical therapies as part of their routine to reduce pain and discomfort from joint hypermobility. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.

 

What Is Joint Hypermobility?

Do you often feel your joints locked up in your hands, wrists, knees, and elbows? Do you experience pain and fatigue in your joints when your body feels constantly tired? Or when you stretch your extremities, do they extend farther than usual to feel the relief? Many of these various scenarios are often correlated with individuals experiencing joint hypermobility. Joint hypermobility is an inherited disorder with autosomal dominant patterns that characterize joint hyperlaxity and musculoskeletal pain within the body extremities. (Carbonell-Bobadilla et al., 2020) This connective tissue condition is often related to the flexibility of the connected tissues like ligaments and tendons in the body. An example would be if a person’s thumb is touching their inner forearm without feeling pain or discomfort, they have joint hypermobility. Additionally, many individuals dealing with joint hypermobility will often have a difficult diagnosis as they will develop skin and tissue fragility over time, causing musculoskeletal complications. (Tofts et al., 2023)

 

 

When individuals deal with joint hypermobility over time, many often have symptomatic joint hypermobility. They will present with musculoskeletal and systemic symptoms that lead to displaying skeletal deformities, tissue and skin fragility, and structural differences in the body’s system. (Nicholson et al., 2022) Some of the symptoms that joint hypermobility are shown in a diagnosis include:

  • Muscle pain and joint stiffness
  • Clicking joints
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive issues
  • Balance issues

Luckily, there are various treatments that many people can use to help restrengthen the surrounding muscles around the joints and reduce the correlating symptoms caused by joint hypermobility. 


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Nonsurgical Treatments For Joint Hypermobility

When dealing with joint hypermobility, many individuals need to seek treatments to reduce the correlating pain-like symptoms of joint hypermobility and help relieve the body’s extremities while restoring mobility. Some excellent treatments for joint hypermobility are non-surgical therapies that are non-invasive, gentle on the joints and muscles, and cost-effective. Various non-surgical treatments can be customized for the individual depending on how severe their joint hypermobility and comorbidities affect the person’s body. Non-surgical treatments can relieve the body from joint hypermobility by treating the causes of the pain through reduction and maximizing functional capacity and restoring a person’s quality of life. (Atwell et al., 2021) The three non-surgical treatments that are excellent for reducing pain from joint hypermobility and helping strengthen the surrounding muscles are below.

 

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care utilizes spinal manipulation and helps restore joint mobility in the body to reduce the effects of joint hypermobility by stabilizing the affected joints from the hypermobile extremities. (Boudreau et al., 2020) Chiropractors incorporate mechanical and manual manipulation and various techniques to help many individuals improve their posture by being more mindful of their bodies and work with multiple other therapies to emphasize controlled movements. With other comorbidities associated with joint hypermobility, like back and neck pain, chiropractic care can reduce these comorbidity symptoms and allow the individual to regain their quality of life.

 

Acupuncture

Another non-surgical treatment that many individuals can incorporate to reduce joint hypermobility and its comorbidities is acupuncture. Acupuncture utilizes small, thin, solid needles that acupuncturists use to block pain receptors and restore the body’s energy flow. When many individuals are dealing with joint hypermobility, their extremities in the legs, hands, and feet are in pain over time, which can cause the body to be unstable. What acupuncture does is help reduce the pain caused by joint hypermobility associated with the extremities and restore balance and functionality to the body (Luan et al., 2023). This means that if a person is dealing with stiffness and muscle pain from joint hypermobility, acupuncture can help rewire the pain by placing the needles in the body’s acupoints to provide relief. 

 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is the last non-surgical treatment many people can incorporate into their daily routine. Physical therapy can help manage joint hypermobility that are tailored to help strengthen weak muscles that are surrounding the affected joints, improving a person’s stability and helping reduce the risk of dislocation. Additionally, many individuals can use low-impact exercise to ensure optimal motor control when doing regular exercises without putting excessive strain on the joints. (Russek et al., 2022)

 

 

By incorporating these three non-surgical treatments as part of a customized treatment for joint hypermobility, many individuals will begin to feel a difference in their balance. They will not experience joint pain by being more mindful of the body and incorporating small changes in their routine. Even though living with joint hypermobility can be a challenge for many individuals, by integrating and utilizing the right combination of non-surgical treatments, many can begin to lead active and fulfilling lives.


References

Atwell, K., Michael, W., Dubey, J., James, S., Martonffy, A., Anderson, S., Rudin, N., & Schrager, S. (2021). Diagnosis and Management of Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders in Primary Care. J Am Board Fam Med, 34(4), 838-848. doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2021.04.200374

Boudreau, P. A., Steiman, I., & Mior, S. (2020). Clinical management of benign joint hypermobility syndrome: a case series. J Can Chiropr Assoc, 64(1), 43-54. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32476667

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7250515/pdf/jcca-64-43.pdf

Carbonell-Bobadilla, N., Rodriguez-Alvarez, A. A., Rojas-Garcia, G., Barragan-Garfias, J. A., Orrantia-Vertiz, M., & Rodriguez-Romo, R. (2020). [Joint hypermobility syndrome]. Acta Ortop Mex, 34(6), 441-449. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34020527 (Sindrome de hipermovilidad articular.)

Luan, L., Zhu, M., Adams, R., Witchalls, J., Pranata, A., & Han, J. (2023). Effects of acupuncture or similar needling therapy on pain, proprioception, balance, and self-reported function in individuals with chronic ankle instability: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med, 77, 102983. doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2023.102983

Nicholson, L. L., Simmonds, J., Pacey, V., De Wandele, I., Rombaut, L., Williams, C. M., & Chan, C. (2022). International Perspectives on Joint Hypermobility: A Synthesis of Current Science to Guide Clinical and Research Directions. J Clin Rheumatol, 28(6), 314-320. doi.org/10.1097/RHU.0000000000001864

Russek, L. N., Block, N. P., Byrne, E., Chalela, S., Chan, C., Comerford, M., Frost, N., Hennessey, S., McCarthy, A., Nicholson, L. L., Parry, J., Simmonds, J., Stott, P. J., Thomas, L., Treleaven, J., Wagner, W., & Hakim, A. (2022). Presentation and physical therapy management of upper cervical instability in patients with symptomatic generalized joint hypermobility: International expert consensus recommendations. Front Med (Lausanne), 9, 1072764. doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2022.1072764

Tofts, L. J., Simmonds, J., Schwartz, S. B., Richheimer, R. M., O’Connor, C., Elias, E., Engelbert, R., Cleary, K., Tinkle, B. T., Kline, A. D., Hakim, A. J., van Rossum, M. A. J., & Pacey, V. (2023). Pediatric joint hypermobility: a diagnostic framework and narrative review. Orphanet J Rare Dis, 18(1), 104. doi.org/10.1186/s13023-023-02717-2

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The information herein on "Effective Nonsurgical Treatments for Reducing Joint Hypermobility" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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