5 Ways to Find Relief from Hypermobility EDS Using Physical Therapy
Hypermobility EDS symptoms:
Joint hypermobility is a connective tissue disorder. Hypermobility is when the ligaments that provide stability for the joints are loose or weak. This allows for too much movement of the joints. Joint hypermobility can have a variety of symptoms and varies from person to person. We commonly see hypermobility associated with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is a rare disease. Hypermobile EDS is typically caused by defects in the protein collagen resulting in “loose joints.” Learn more about ways to find relief from hypermobility EDS symptoms using Physical Therapy.
Below is a list of symptoms that are commonly associated with joint hypermobility:
- Pain and/or stiffness in joints
- Pain in muscles
- Clicking in joints
- Joints that easily or frequently dislocate
- Gastrointestinal problems, including bowel and bladder problems
- Dizziness and/or fainting (autonomic nervous system dysfunction)
- Thin, soft, or stretchy skin
- Prone to recurrent injuries
- Bruise easily
Ways PT/OT can help:
Physical and Occupational Therapists help work with people who have hypermobility and EDS to teach them safe ways to strengthen muscles and increase joint stability. Physical and occupational therapists are also knowledgeable on a variety of assistive devices, braces, and splints. PTs and OTs can recommend and teach people how to use assistive devices, braces, and splints properly and safely. As physical and occupational therapists, we get to know each patient’s symptoms to develop a treatment plan that will fit the needs of the patient. As we progress through therapy, we modify and adapt the exercises as we see fit and help manage and improve the patient’s symptoms.
Best exercises for hypermobility:
People with hypermobility may find it hard to find the right exercises to do without causing a flare-up. It is best to seek individual treatment to learn what the best exercises for your body may be and how to perform them. However, below are a few tips on exercising with hypermobility:
- With hypermobility, we see loose and weak joints, so it should be noted that you should limit your motion (do not hyperextend your joints) when completing exercises. You do not want to cause increased stress on the joints and possibly cause a dislocation or subluxation.
- We recommend starting with simple exercises such as isometrics. Isometrics is where you contract the muscles while in a constant position (not moving the joint).
- It is important to remember to progress your exercises slowly. You do not want to cause a flare-up in the muscles/joints. A physical or occupational therapist can help guide you in the best way to progress your exercises.
- People with hypermobility need to focus on core strengthening. This can be achieved through low-impact exercises to give you more overall stability in the body.
- Avoid high-impact activities such as running and contact sports to avoid excess pressure on the joints and to avoid injury.
It is important to remember that people with hypermobility will react very differently to exercises, so make sure to work with a trained professional to safely and effectively perform exercises.
Do you have hypermobility?
We have trained Physical and Occupational Therapists at Freedom PT that have experience and knowledge working with people with EDS and other hypermobility disorders. Contact us today to begin your road to safe exercise and health.