Are you a Gumby?
Are you flexible or double-jointed? Or do you have joint pain or achiness? You might be hypermobile.
Studies suggest that 1 in 4 people are hypermobile, or what we call a ‘Gumby.’ Are you? Take the quiz below.
- Have you noticed that you are more flexible than your friends/family?
- Have you ever been called “double-jointed”?
- Do you feel muscle tightness that you cannot ‘stretch away’?
- Do you have a history of seeing a Physical Therapist or Chiropractor without lasting relief?
- Did you score a four or more on the Beighton Hypermobility scale? (Access the test here.)
You might be hypermobile if you answered yes to any of the questions.
First things first–what is hypermobility?
Hypermobility refers to the increased flexibility of your ligaments. People with hypermobility tend to feel tightness in their muscles all the time. Your brain tells your muscles to be tight to protect your joints. Ligaments provide passive stability to joints, while your muscles provide active stability. The more hypermobile you are, the less your ligaments help stabilize, and the more your muscles must work to keep your joints in the proper place. Long-term tight muscles without appropriate strength training and education can lead to pain, fatigue, and injury.
In the clinical setting, hypermobility is commonly mismanaged, undiagnosed, and not thoroughly assessed. Hypermobile individuals are able to stretch away their tightness with little success. Others have a long history of physical therapy or chiropractic care with minimal relief, and some are given stretches and are told to avoid strength training due to the risk of injury.
“In the clinical setting, hypermobility is commonly mismanaged, undiagnosed, and not thoroughly assessed.”
I’m hypermobile–so now what? 3 Ways to Help
Simple education regarding the management of hypermobility may be the only thing you need to move from a history of long-term pain to the freedom of reaching your movement goals.
1. Stop Stretching
Muscles are tight because they are trying to protect your joints. Static stretching only temporarily relieves the discomfort, which is just managing symptoms, not a solution. Mobility exercises are the answer – check out our blog next week with specific routines!
2. Low Impact Aerobic Exercises
Walking, swimming, and cycling are the best places to start. The more you increase your aerobic activity level, the less soreness you will feel. Start with just 5 minutes each day at an easy to medium intensity.
3. Strength Training
If you are intimidated by strength training/weight-lifting, you shouldn’t be. Weight training, when done correctly, will offer a significant amount of relief for people who have pain because of their hypermobility. We can help you decide what exercises are safe and effective for you.
I Need More Guidance. What Do I Do?
Here are just a few of the things our Physiotherapy Team can do for you:
- We can quickly take away the pain and stiffness, often within a couple of sessions
- We can help you find out what’s going on and get to the root cause of your pain
- We can help you put an end to taking all of those painkillers that are not good for your long-term health
- We help you find a SOLUTION, not just temporary relief
At KinetaCare Physiotherapy, we offer free physiotherapy assessments. You can speak to a team member, ask questions, and find out what stops you from getting the life you want.
Alternatively, you can call us at 616.263.6161 if you prefer to talk over the telephone.
Three Blog Take-A-Ways
- Hypermobility refers to increased ligament flexibility, which means muscles must work harder to stabilize your joints.
- Stop stretching and begin aerobic and strength training exercises to help reduce the joint pain that limits you from living the life you want. (We can guide you here!)
- We work with you to find a solution to help you live the life you want.
Look for our blog post next week–we’ll provide some simple movement correctives and exercises to help you manage joint pain and tightness. We provide a better approach to physical therapy to help you manage the pain that limits you from doing what you want…so you can #MoveBetter.