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What are the symptoms of joint hypermobility?

Although hypermobility itself isn't a medical condition, some people with hypermobile joints may be more likely to have aches and pains when doing everyday tasks. Symptoms of joint hypermobility syndrome include: 

  • Muscle strain or pain (especially after hard physical work or exercise) – Your muscles have to work harder if your joints are very supple and this can lead to muscle strain and a general feeling of fatigue. In effect, an 'overuse' injury develops in the muscles around the joint (though the pain may seem to come from the joint itself).
  • Joint stiffness – If a joint feels stiff or tense this may be caused by fluid collecting inside the joint. This is probably because your body is trying to repair the small amounts of damage that are caused if a muscle or joint is over-stretched. Your pain will often feel worse as the day goes on and improve at night with rest.
  • Foot and ankle pain – You may easily twist and strain at the ankles, and have a flat arch to your foot that can lead to foot pain, particularly after standing for a long time.
  • Neck pain and backache – This can be a problem if your spine is particularly supple and the muscles around your spine aren't working to support it correctly. Very occasionally the bones in your back can slip on another (this is called a spondylolisthesis).
  • Injured or dislocated joints – Hypermobile joints are more likely than normal joints to get injured if they're overstretched. Sometimes the joint can dislocate – this is most common in the shoulder or the kneecap. Sometimes the soft tissues in and around joints (cartilage, tendons, ligaments) can tear.

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