Could hypermobility be part of your pain problem?

I deal almost exclusively with people have tried everything for their pain already. People with complex, long standing issues. A lot of them are hypermobile.

Sometimes they know they are. Sometimes they have had a physio mention it about a joint or too, but not had any further information.

Often they have never considered it before. This is so common that I now ask the following questions.

Absolutely not to diagnose anyone. I can’t do that. But it can flag up whether hypermobility could be a contributing factor in someone’s pain, and prompt them to look into it.

These questions catch about 80% of people with generalised joint hypermobility.

1. Can you now (or could you ever) place your hands flat on the floor without bending your knees?

2. Can you now (or could you ever) bend your thumb to touch your forearm?

3. As a child did you amuse your friends by contorting your body into strange shapes OR could you do the splits?

4. As a child or teenager did your shoulder or kneecap dislocate on more than one occasion?

5. Do you consider yourself double-jointed?

Yes to two or more questions suggests generalised joint hypermobility.


Does being hypermobile matter?

Like so many characteristics, we are all on a range.
From stiff, to hypermobile.
You can be officially hypermobile but be completely asymptomatic. So you might answer yeses above, and it not be a problem for you. You are just look good doing yoga 😊
If you frequently dislocate or subluxate your joints you  already know you are hypermobile. 
But there are lots of people with undiagnosed symptomatic hypermobility.
Because this is about your connective tissue, all your body systems can be affected because connective tissue is everywhere e.g. gut issues are common. Getting a diagnosis can make sense of all sorts of disparate health problems. It can also point you towards choosing the right interventions e.g. in terms of exercise, stretching or many types of yoga are generally not a good idea, but strengthening is. 
So if you are suspicious it is worth looking into further, and perhaps pursuing an official diagnosis. 

Spider diagnostic tool showing all the body systems that can be involved –

How I help people with hypermobility

The work I do is very gentle and safe, and that is why hypermobile people end up at my door, as they haven’t suited manipulations or exercise interventions.

If your joints are lax, you are often using extra muscle tone to support them. That might end up being too much too much of the time, so actually you are tense. You might feel stiff ( the feeling of stiffness and being objectively stiff are 2 different things!) Finding the right level of tone for the job in hand can make life a lot easier.

I find hypermobile people struggle a lot with posture because they find it hard to work out how to sit or stand without making an extreme effort. Relaxing at all means collapsing in a heap…

I can help find that middle way where you can maintain a reasonable posture without all the extra work.

Your proprioception and body awareness is often ‘off’ when you have hypermobility too. So work on body awareness and ‘mapping’ your body can be really helpful.

I also adapt my work for hypermobile people.

The emphasis is more on ‘fitting yourself back together’ . Giving your body more security and ‘safety’ which then allows you to relax. Any Alexander Technique is a gentle, calming way to work that is often very successful for people with hypermobility. But add in these little adaptations and it becomes an even more powerful tool. 

If you are interested in giving it a try let’s have a chat.


This is NOT health advice: please see your GP or physio if you suspect you might be hypermobile. 

For more info:

Source of the 5 questions:  

Hand image By Magnolia Dysnomia – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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