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> > > > Self-help and daily living for joint hypermobility

Self-help and daily living for joint hypermobility

There are several steps you can take to help yourself in your daily life.

Exercise

Regular exercise is important as part of a healthy lifestyle, and there’s no reason why people with hypermobile joints shouldn’t exercise. However, if you find that certain sports or exercises involve movements that cause pain then you should stop these activities until it's clear why there is pain. With the right strengthening exercises it may be possible to return to these activities without increasing pain. A physiotherapist can advise you about exercises to improve control of the movements and loads required in your preferred sport or exercise.

Swimming can help, where the weight of your body is supported by water, although breaststroke can irritate the knee and hip, so it's best to paddle your legs. We also recommend cycling.

If any of your joints dislocate regularly it may help to wear a splint or elastic bandage while exercising. You may need to see a physiotherapist or orthotist for supports if this is a significant problem.

Read more about exercise and arthritis.

Diet and nutrition

There’s no specific diet to help joint hypermobility, but we would recommend a healthy, balanced diet to keep your weight under control and for your general health.

Read more about diet and arthritis.

Complementary medicine

There’s no evidence to support a particular therapy for hypermobility, although acupuncture is recommended in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for low back pain.

Generally speaking complementary and alternative therapies are relatively safe, although you should always discuss their use with your doctor before starting treatment. It’s important to go to a legally registered therapist, or one who has a set ethical code and is fully insured.

If you decide to try therapies or supplements you should be critical of what they’re doing for you, and base your decision to continue on whether you notice any improvement. 

Read more about complementary therapies and arthritis.

Footwear

There’s a wide variation in the shape of the foot in people who are hypermobile. Most tend to have flat feet but a few have a high-arched foot. Special insoles in your shoes (orthoses) may help to support the arch of the foot. By re-aligning the foot and the way the body's weight passes through the legs it may help balance and reduce pain in the foot, ankle, leg, hip and lower back.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.