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Hypermobility Checklist: A Detailed Guide

Updated: Jan 20


hypermobility checklist


Have you ever shown off your bendy fingers or twisted your body into funny shapes? It might be more than just a cool trick – it could be hyper


mobility, where your joints move extra far. But is it just harmless flexibility or something more? That's where the term "Hypermobility Checklist" comes in.


This hypermobility-based checklist is like a special test that helps figure out if this flexibility is okay or if it could be something more serious. It looks at how flexible your joints are, checks for certain signs, and makes sure other possible problems are ruled out. 


Let's explore this topic in a detailed manner.

What is Hypermobility Syndrome?

Hypermobility is when your joints can stretch and move more than usual. Think of it like being super flexible, where your arms, legs, or other joints can bend in ways that might surprise your friends. But it's not always a superhero power; it can sometimes cause problems.


What Causes Hypermobility?

Let's break down the causes of hypermobility in the following:


Family Connection

Sometimes, if your mom, dad, or other family members can bend their joints a lot, you might be able to do the same. It's like a family trait!


Researchers at Tulane University have found a potential genetic link to hypermobility, often known as being double-jointed. This may relate to connective tissue disorders like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The findings are in the journal Heliyon.


Body Tissue Issues

Some people have conditions, like Ehlers-Danlos or Marfan syndrome, that affect the stuff holding their joints together. This can make their joints extra flexible.


Ouch Moments

If you ever hurt your joints, especially the parts that connect them (ligaments), your joints might become super flexible as a way to cope with the injury. It's like they learn to bend more.


Hormones Doing Tricks

When your body goes through big changes, like during puberty or if you're going to have a baby, your hormones can make your joints more bendy. 


Lazy Muscles

If the muscles around your joints aren't strong enough, your joints might become extra stretchy. 


Work Wonders

Some jobs or activities involve doing the same movements over and over again. Over time, this can make your joints super flexible.


How to Check for Hypermobility?

Okay, here comes the checklist part! You can do some simple tests at home to check if your joints are hypermobile. Touching your palms to the floor without bending your knees or bending your pinky finger backward are a couple of tricks. If you're curious, give it a try!


Are you interested in learning about the benefits of Olympic Lifting Exercises? Check out our insightful blog to find out better.


Hypermobility Checklist

So, how to diagnose hypermobility syndrome? Welcome to the hypermobility-based checklist, your go-to guide for understanding and assessing Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). Let's break down this comprehensive checklist for a clearer understanding:



Hypermobility Checklist


**This checklist helps both people and doctors understand and check for Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in an organized way. Use it to talk with your doctor about your health for a complete checkup and accurate diagnosis. Remember, this checklist gives information and is not a substitute for advice from a doctor.


Explanation of the Above Checklist: What Each Point Denotes

Let's go through each checkbox and provide a detailed explanation for a better understanding:


Unlocking the Basics

Generalized Joint Hypermobility: Beighton Score

If you score:


  •  ≥6 (pre-pubertal children and adolescents): Indicates a higher likelihood of joint hypermobility in younger individuals.


  •  ≥5 (pubertal men and women up to age 50, Beighton Score: /9): Suggests increased joint flexibility in adolescents and adults.


  •  ≥4 (men and women over age 50): Points towards persistent joint hypermobility in older individuals.


Additional checks if Beighton Score is one point below


  • Are your hands flat on the floor without bending your knees?: Tests the flexibility of the spine and lower back.


  • Thumb touches forearm?: Assesses the hypermobility of thumb joints.


  • Contorted body shapes as a child?: Reflects historical joint flexibility in childhood.


  • Shoulder or kneecap dislocations in childhood or teenage years?: Indicates a history of joint instability.

 

  • Consider yourself "double-jointed"?: A subjective self-assessment of joint flexibility.


Checking In: DIY Assessment


Two or More Features (A, B, or C) Must Be Present


Feature A (Total: /12)


  • Unusually soft or velvety skin: Describes the texture of the skin, which is a characteristic of some connective tissue disorders.


  • Mild skin hyperextensibility: Indicates the ability of the skin to stretch beyond the normal range.


  • Unexplained Striae Distensae or Rubae: Presence of stretch marks without significant weight changes.


  • Bilateral piezogenic papules of the heel: Small, benign lumps on the heel that become apparent when standing.


  • Recurrent or multiple abdominal hernia(s): Multiple occurrences of hernias in the abdominal area.


  • Atrophic scarring in at least two sites: Scarring that appears thin and flat, without thickening or darkening.


  • Pelvic floor, rectal, and/or uterine prolapse: Descent or displacement of pelvic organs.


  • Dental crowding and high or narrow palate: Dental features associated with hEDS.


  • Arachnodactyly (positive wrist and thumb signs): Abnormal elongation of fingers and thumbs.


  • Arm span-to-height ratio ≥1.05: Ratio indicating greater arm span in comparison to height.


  • Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) or greater aortic root dilatation: Heart valve or aorta-related conditions.


Feature B


  • Positive family history (one or more first-degree relatives meeting criteria): A family history of hypermobility or related features.


Feature C (Must Have at Least One)


  • Musculoskeletal pain in two or more limbs: Chronic pain affecting multiple limbs.


  • Chronic, widespread pain for ≥3 months: Persistent and widespread pain lasting at least three months.


  • Recurrent joint dislocations or frank joint instability: Repeated joint dislocations or instability not due to trauma.


Ensuring Accuracy: Prerequisites for Diagnosis

Prerequisites for Diagnosis


  • Absence of unusual skin fragility: Lack of skin that easily bruises or tears.


  • Exclusion of other heritable and acquired connective tissue disorders: Ruling out other conditions affecting connective tissues.


  • Exclusion of alternative diagnoses (neuromuscular disorders, other EDS types, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, Marfan syndrome, skeletal dysplasias): Ensuring that the observed symptoms align with hEDS.


Final Steps: Diagnosis

Diagnosis


  • Utilize the diagnostic checklist for a comprehensive evaluation: Medical professionals use this checklist as part of a thorough assessment.


  • Consider a multidisciplinary approach for accurate diagnosis and management: Collaboration between different medical specialties for a holistic evaluation and ongoing care.


Is it true that people who engage in powerlifting tend to gain weight easily? Find out the answer in our blog.

Hypermobility and Exercise: Best Practices

People with hypermobility should choose exercises carefully to avoid hurting their joints. Because their joints can move a lot, they need to be careful not to stretch them too much, which could lead to instability and injuries.


Let's get into the details of some suitable exercises for individuals with hypermobility:


Easy Cardio

Pick exercises that are kind to your joints, like taking a walk, swimming, or riding a bike. These activities give your heart a good workout without stressing your bendy joints too much.


Muscle Strengthening

Work on making your muscles strong to support your joints. Use light weights or stretchy bands for resistance training. It helps steady your joints and stops them from moving too much.


Want to get a detailed understanding of Strength Training for Hypermobility? Visit our insightful blog to learn all about this topic.


Strong Tummy and Back

Give some extra love to your tummy and back muscles. Exercises that make your stomach and back strong add support to your spine and hips, making it easier to control your joints.


Stand on One Leg Fun

Practice exercises that make you better at balancing, like standing on one leg or doing stability exercises. This makes you more aware of your body and helps control how your joints move.


Stretching without Overdoing

Do gentle and controlled stretches to keep flexible without stretching too far. Yoga or Pilates, if done carefully, can be good for controlled movements.


Daily Life Training

Copy how you move in everyday life for your exercises. Things like squats, lunges, and other movements you do regularly can make your joints more stable.


Watch Out for Too Much Stretching

Be careful with activities that make your joints move a lot or stretch too much. It's good to be flexible, but too much can make your joints wobbly and might lead to injuries.


Warm-Up and Cool-Down Routine

Before you start exercising, do some easy warm-up exercises to get your muscles and joints ready. Afterward, cool down with gentle stretches to keep flexible and prevent stiffness.


Mindful Movement Fun

Try activities that make you pay attention to how you move, like tai chi or gentle yoga. These help you be aware of your body and prevent accidents from stretching too far.


Talk to an Expert

Before you start any new exercises, chat with a doctor or a physiotherapist. They can give you personalized advice based on your joints and overall health, making sure you're on the right track.


Contact a Pro

If you need help with exercises for your hypermobility or want top-notch personal training in Boston, MA, choose Back Bay Fit. We have skilled trainers dedicated to making a fitness plan just for you. We start with a free chat, a meeting, and a tour to match you with the right trainer. 


Whether you like lifting weights or want to lose weight, our coaches create a plan for you. We're a friendly community with motivation and expert advice. Come to Back Bay Fit for a personalized fitness plan, proven results, and a healthier you with Boston's best trainers.


Wrapping Up

To sum it up, think of the "Hypermobility Checklist" as your special test. It helps decide if your flexibility is normal or if there might be something more serious going on. This checklist looks at how bendy your joints are, checks for certain signs, and makes sure there are no other problems. Now, armed with the knowledge from this detailed guide, you have the key to grasp and handle hypermobility. 


FAQs

Who treats hypermobility syndrome?

Doctors called rheumatologists and orthopedic specialists are the ones who usually help with hypermobility syndrome. They're experts in treating joint problems.


What is joint hypermobility?

Joint hypermobility is when your joints can move more than usual, like being extra flexible. It's about joints bending more easily.


What is hypermobility spectrum disorder?

Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder is like a cousin to hypermobility, where joints are more flexible than usual but not enough for a specific diagnosis. It's a bit like being on a flexibility spectrum.


How to treat hypermobility?

Treating hypermobility involves exercises to strengthen muscles, avoiding overstretching, and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals like physiotherapists for a tailored approach. It's about balancing and caring for flexible joints.







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