Laxity can affect many parts of the body, such as the knee or ankle, but learning some basic information can help you better understand this condition. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at hyperlaxity, discussing its symptoms and when it can cause other conditions, as well as treatments that may be beneficial. If you’re struggling to manage your joint problems, read on!

Joint hyperlaxity: what is it?

Joint hyperlaxity, also called joint laxity, is the medical term for abnormally loose joints. It is a condition that affects connective tissues, such as ligaments, tendons and joint capsules. People with joint hyperlaxity may have a greater range of motion in their joints due to loosening of their ligaments, which can cause them to bend and move more than normal. This can be very uncomfortable and lead to frequent dislocations or sprains.

Joint hyperlaxity is sometimes associated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a genetic condition characterized by overly flexible joints and fragile skin. People with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may experience chronic pain due to instability in their joints and may need special medical care to manage it.

Am I hyperlax? Here are the signs!

To determine if you are hypermobile, the Beighton score is a useful tool.

The Beighton score is a nine-point assessment that tests joint laxity by measuring the range of motion of certain joints like the elbows, shoulders, hips, and knees. In addition, it also measures the hyperextension of the little finger. A score of four or more suggests joint hyperlaxity. Other diagnostic tests for joint hyperlaxity include x-rays and physical exams to check for abnormalities in the tendons or ligaments.

If not, your joints can tell you a lot!

Generally, sufferers tend to appear double-jointed and can often bend their fingers, wrists, and elbows in ways that are not possible for the average person. Other signs of joint laxity include:

  • Instability when weight bearing, for example during activities such as running and jumping.
  • Difficulty standing on one leg.
  • Easily unlocked joints.
  • Painless clicking and popping sounds of the joints.
  • A feeling of unsteadiness when trying to get up from a seated position.
  • A curved spine (scoliosis).
  • Flat feet and weak muscle tone.

In severe cases, people with loose joints can also experience organ prolapse due to weakened connective tissue, causing organs like the bladder to protrude out of their natural position.

Joint hyperlaxity: Is it serious? Will there be complications in the future?

Laxity is a serious condition that can have serious consequences and complications. Moving beyond the normal range of motion, stretching and bending more easily than other people, may seem like an advantage to you, but in fact it can lead to pain, instability and joint damage due to overstretching or injury.

In some cases, hyperlaxity can cause chronic pain in the affected joints due to overstretching or laxity of the ligaments. It can also increase the risk of dislocations or subluxations, which occur when the joint partially slips out of place. Long-term complications can include arthritis and premature wear of affected joint surfaces due to repetitive strain injuries from overuse or strain. People with hyperlaxity are also more prone to soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains, due to their increased flexibility.

Joint hyperlaxity: How to treat it?

Treatment for joint hyperlaxity depends on the severity and location of the laxity. In general, mild cases can be treated with physiotherapy to strengthen and stabilize the surrounding musculature. Exercises may include:

  • Range of motion exercises.
  • Manual therapy to increase mobility.
  • Strengthening exercises to develop the muscles around the joints.
  • Balance and proprioception training.
  • Stretching.
  • A work on the stability of the trunk.

If physical therapy is not working or the laxity is more severe, the doctor may also prescribe medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and pain. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to tighten ligaments or repair tendons.

I am hypermobile, what sport can I practice safely?

People with hyperlaxity generally have more flexible joints than average, which makes them well suited for many different sports and activities. Sports that can be practiced safely are: water aerobics, swimming, yoga and Pilates. These sports allow people with hyperlaxity to perform movements without putting excessive pressure on their joints. Plus, they offer the chance to safely stretch and strengthen the muscles around their joints, while developing coordination and balance.

Additionally, these activities can also help improve mental clarity, reduce stress levels, and boost overall physical health. By taking the necessary precautions (such as regular warm-ups before training), a person with loose joints should be able to enjoy these activities in a safe environment.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.