Joint hypermobility syndrome and related pain


Nilay Sahin, Aziz Atik, Serdar Sargin

Hypermobility is defined as an abnormally increased range of motion of a joint resulting from the excessive laxity of the soft tissues. This paper is focused on this commonly forgotten cause of several morbidities. The etiology of hypermobility is not very well known. One decade ago, joint hypermobility syndrome was considered as a benign condition, but now it is recognized as a significant contributor to chronic musculoskeletal pain, besides impacting on other organs. Patients with joint hypermobility syndrome often have diffuse, chronic complaints that are inconsistent with the musculoskeletal system. Chronic pain may cause loss of proprioception and so increased sensitivity to microtrauma, premature osteoarthritis development, soft tissue problems, psychosocial disorders, and neurophysiological deficiencies. Osteoarthritis, pes planus, mechanical low back pain, and soft tissue rheumatisms are frequent musculoskeletal findings as well as subluxations, thoracic outlet syndrome, rectal and uterine prolapses, hernias, and stress incontinence. Joint hypermobility syndrome’s treatment is not easy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not usually effective or adequate. Proprioceptive and strengthening exercises have been reported to have supportive and therapeutic effects, but we have limited data on this issue. Joint hypermobility syndrome must be accepted as a multisystem connective tissue disorder rather than just joint laxities. As a result; clinicians must be aware of complexities of connective tissue disorders and comorbidity.