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How is joint hypermobility diagnosed?

Your GP will be able to make a diagnosis of generalised joint hypermobility or joint hypermobility syndrome by examining you and asking you a series of questions.

The Beighton score is a quick measure of your flexibility using a standard set of movements at the thumb/wrist, fifth finger, elbows, lower back, and knees. A high Beighton score means you’re hypermobile but doesn’t mean you have joint hypermobility syndrome. If you have problems with joints other than those included in the Beighton score, then you should mention these to your doctor. Other joints which may be affected include the jaw, neck, shoulders, mid-spine, hips, ankles and feet.

The Brighton criteria take into account how many hypermobile joints you have and whether you've had pain in those joints. If you have four or more hypermobile joints and have had pain in those joints for three months or more then it's likely that you have joint hypermobility syndrome. These criteria also take account of other concerns such as dislocations, injuries to the tissues around the joints, and lax skin.


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