This week will do another self-test to determine if you may be hypermobile. When I say hypermobile that means essentially that your joints move more than they should. This excessive motion is from the connective tissue that connects the bones together has too much movement. Most patients think that the more joint moves the better. This is not always the case. Our joints need this stability from the connective tissue and if the tissue is not providing stability this will lead to problems. Some of the common locations of pain from too much movement are the low back, knees, feet and neck.
The test for determining hypermobility is called the Beighton Index. The Beighton Index is a simple 9 point system and you are considered hypermobile if you score greater than 6. For each of the following tasks that you are able to do you get 1 point.
#1&2: Extend left and right pinkie finger past 90 degrees
#3&4 Touch thumb to forearm
#5&6 Straighten elbows 10 degrees past straight
#7 Touch palms to floor
#8-9 Straighten knees 10 degrees past straight
There are several reasons why you may be hypermobile ranging from serious disorders to a tendency toward hypermobility. For teenage people it is fairly common to be on the hypermobile side and often they will out-grow it. If the hypermobility persists into the 3rd decade of life it may be indicative of an underlying problem. Being hypermobile can also be localized to one joint also. I see this often in active people who place high demands on a joint. A couple examples would be gymnasts’ spines or swimmers’ shoulders who have high ROM demands during their sports.
Whether your problems are localized or global, your joints will benefit improved strength to better stabilize your joints. Often there are specific muscles that are important to emphasize to better stabilize joints. This a great role for physical therapist. Depending on the location or locations of your dysfunction, a physical therapist is able to prescribe certain exercises or activities address your hypermobility.
At Siskiyou PT we work with people who have all types of mobility issues. It would be our pleasure to see you if you have a mobility issues.
Jon Hill, DPT, Licensed Physical Therapist with Siskiyou Physical Therapy