Hypermobility is often confused with flexibility. Flexibility refers to the available range of motion in the body, but this range of motion does not go beyond what is considered to be the normal range of motion. Hypermobility is when the joints in the body have an unusual wide range of motion. A person who has this condition can effortlessly and painlessly move their joints into positions that would be impossible in normal circumstances.

Hypermobility can be diagnosed by using the Beighton Criteria. A nine-point scoring system in which the higher the score the higher the mobility. For every criterion that a person can do they will get one point. (Please do not force your joints to bend in a specific way. Avoid doing any of the following if you have recently had surgery, a dislocation or are diagnosed with a rheumatic disorder).

The Beighton Criteria:

  • Pulling either of your pinkie fingers backwards beyond ninety degrees.
  • Pulling either of your thumbs back to touch the forearm.
  • Bending either elbow backwards beyond ten degrees.
  • Bending either knee backwards beyond ten degrees.
  • Placing your feet flat on the floor and being able to bend forward, with your palms flat on the ground while keeping your legs straight.

Most people will score four points or below, meaning they are less likely to suffer from joint pain, sprains or dislocations. Scoring a five or higher indicates a higher joint laxity (the joints are very loose) and you will have an increased risk of joint pain, sprains or dislocations occurring.

Joint hypermobility syndrome can be a very painful condition. Symptoms of this condition can include:

  • Developing unstable joints
  • Joint pain throughout the body
  • Subluxations or dislocations
  • Back pain
  • Knee pain
  • The fingers being locked in a certain position
  • Hearing a clicking noise in the joints
  • Being unreceptive to pain medication
  • Hypermobility can result in osteoarthritis

Hypermobile patients can develop this condition from an early age due to a deficiency in collagen, elastin, fibrillin or tenascin (soft tissue deficiencies), or hypermobility could be result of extensive activities which include repeatedly over stretching the joints and muscles without doing any strength training exercises. Participating in activities such as ballet, gymnastics or yoga can make you more susceptible to hypermobility.

If you have hypermobility syndrome and are experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms, treatment is recommended. However, treatment is not necessary for a patients who don’t experience any issues.

Osteopathy follows a holistic approach and can help to reduce pain, improve strength, posture, and correct the movement of the individual joints. Exercise programmes which focus on strengthening and improving muscle and joint stability will also be recommended.

At OsteoVision we will be able to create a treatment plan specific to your diagnosis, age and fitness level. Contact us to book an appointment and a member of our team will gladly assist.

Book an appointment online at www.osteovision.life

Call: 03303 904 300

Email: info@osteovision.life











Cambridge Osteopathy. 2017. Are you Hypermobile?. [online] Available at: <https://cambridgeosteopathy.co.uk/2017/10/19/are-you-hypermobile/> [Accessed 17 June 2021].

Caughey, A., 2016. Hypermobility and osteopathy. [online] Broadstone Clinic Natural HealthCare. Available at: <https://www.broadstoneclinic.co.uk/hypermobility-and-osteopathy1> [Accessed 17 June 2021].

Hailey, T., 2020. Hypermobility — Rockhopper Osteopathic Clinic. [online] Rockhopper Osteopathic Clinic. Available at: <http://www.rockhopperclinic.com.au/blog/2020/7/21/hypermobility> [Accessed 17 June 2021].

McIntosh, F., n.d. Hypermobility and Osteopathy. [online] Essentialosteopathy.co.uk. Available at: <https://www.essentialosteopathy.co.uk/blog/other-conditions-treated-osteopaths/hypermobility-and-osteopathy/> [Accessed 17 June 2021].