Hypermobility is a condition that can affect people and at any stage of life. Hypermobility is a general term for a number of conditions which present with similar features. The most common characteristic of hypermobility is what is described as laxity in connective tissue due to a disturbance with collagen fibres- the elastic fibres which are part of ligaments, skin and other connective tissue. This can produce widespread or local aches and pains, weakness or stiffness. It can take sometimes take time for a diagnosis to be made as signs can vary hugely between individuals and there is no clear test for hypermobility. Healthcare professionals are continuing to learn more about this wide band of symptoms and research is continuing providing more information and evidence for treatments.
Having hypermobility can make your joints more vulnerable to stress and force so strengthening key muscle groups is vital. Most people manage to keep their hypermobility symptom under control but keeping their muscular system strong and efficient.
Physio and Hypermobility
Physio can be very beneficial for people with hypermobility. Physiotherapists are the ideal person to help address any aches and pains. Although most problems arise from movement and lack of stability or control at joints muscles can still become tight, weak or working under too much stress. Physios will be able to carry out joint assessment, muscle power testing and an assessment of your biomechanics. Imbalances in your body can occur from your body trying to accomplish movement but this can cause problems which physios can work on and provide strengthening or stretches to help benefit.
It can also be sometimes useful to have manual therapy, massage, mobilisation, acupuncture or similar. All these techniques can be helpful to address aches and pain and are safe to do so under the direction of a physio. At Physio Plus we find a combination of all these techniques work along side a plan for home exercises to help address the issues we identify and help you manage your own condition.
Pilates and Hypermobility
Pilates is an excellent form of exercise to help you with any problems associated with your hypermobility. Pilates also complements our practice as a physio by focusing on stability controlled comfortable body weight or small equipment based exercises. Pilates focuses on providing core stability, this includes, abdominal, lower back, hips and pelvis. The list is not exclusive but Pilates aims to provide stability for postural muscles and muscles essential for movement.
Most Pilates exercises can also be modified if not comfortable, as generally we advise comfortable but challenging exercises are best.
People with hypermobility can attend general pilates classes but we often suggest having a series of 1:1s prior to joining a regular class to have a good understanding of the basics of Pilates. Often only minor adjustments or considerations need to be made to make your class more comfortable.
If you are worried about having hypermobility or would like to learn more then just get in touch.