Hypermobility in a joint is where the joint can move beyond the normal range of movement. It may be present in just a few joints or may be widespread. Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (HMS) can range from mild to severe symptoms. In many people joint hypermobility doesn’t cause any problems. But a small percentage of the population can have joint and ligament injuries, pain or discomfort.
Other symptoms of HMS may be less obvious. These can include: gastrointestinal problems, bladder problems, tendency to bruise, fatigue and depression.
Some people are very hypermobile and feel very insecure in their body. They can find it difficult to stand or sit with ease. Others may be quite stiff, partly due to holding tension around unstable joints.
The Hypermobility Syndromes Association recommends the Alexander Technique to help manage symptoms from HMS and I am increasingly working with people who are hypermobile.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
Hypermobility can even be considered an advantage. Athletes, gymnasts, dancers and musicians might specifically be selected because of their extra range of movement. However, just because it is possible to move a joint fully, it may not always be safe to do so.
With the Alexander Technique, I can show people how to safely care for their bodies and how to limit ranges of movement, where necessary. It’s a very gentle approach.
As awareness of HMS is increasing, more young people are being diagnosed. This is also raising awareness amongst adults, particularly where there is a genetic component.
Find out more on hypermobility
The following links provide further reading:
- Article by Julie Barber, Alexander Technique teacher, whose daughter has HMS
- Article by Dr Philip Bull, rheumatologist and expert on HMS
- Advice from the Alexander Technique professional body, Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT)