Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) is a result of a connective tissue condition where the collagen is faulty. It is much more common than it has been estimated because more than anything, it is misdiagnosed. Joint hypermobility can lead to pain, instability, and an increased risk of injuries. As a result, individuals with JHS often seek various treatments to manage their condition. One such treatment is chiropractic care.  This blog will explore whether someone with joint hypermobility should see a chiropractor, and what to consider when choosing one.

What is Joint Hypermobility?

In my blog, ” How do I know if I am hypermobile”, I explain the different aspects of hypermobility and how it affects collagen, a key protein in ligaments and tendons, making them more elastic than normal and leading to joint hypermobility.

Can Chiropractic Care Help with Joint Hypermobility?

Chiropractic care involves manual adjustments and manipulations to align the spine and other joints, potentially improving function and reducing pain. British Chiropractic Association suggests that chiropractic care can be beneficial for hypermobility patients, provided that the practitioner tailors the treatment to the patient’s needs and avoids excessive force (Lurie Children’s). Hypermobility Syndromes Association (HMSA) recommends a multi-disciplinary approach, including chiropractic care, physical therapy, and other treatments, to manage symptoms effectively (Patients & Families).

What Are The Benefits of Chiropractic For Joint Hypermobility?

  • Pain Relief:

Chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate pain by improving joint function and reducing muscle tension.

  • Improved Joint Stability:

Properly performed chiropractic adjustments can enhance joint stability and function, which is crucial for hypermobile individuals.

  • Holistic Approach:

Chiropractors often provide comprehensive care, including exercise recommendations, lifestyle advice, and nutritional counseling, which can be beneficial for overall health.

What Are The Risks of Chiropractic For Joint Hypermobility?

  • Over-Manipulation:

Hypermobile joints are more susceptible to over-manipulation, which can exacerbate symptoms or lead to injury.

  • Lack of Specialist Knowledge:

Not all chiropractors are experienced in treating hypermobility, which can result in inappropriate treatment methods.

What to Consider When Choosing a Chiropractor for Hypermobility

Choosing the right chiropractor is crucial for safe and effective treatment. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Experience and Specialization
  • Experience with Hypermobility

Make sure the chiropractor has experience treating patients with joint hypermobility. Ask about their familiarity with conditions like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD).

  • Specialization in Joint Care:

Chiropractors with additional training in joint care and musculoskeletal disorders are better equipped to handle hypermobility cases. I use a Developmental Kinesiology exercise protocol called Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization which is developed from studying babies and their development of movement and stability without lifting any weights, bands, physical therapists, chiropractors, or personal trainers guiding them.

Since we all go through the same stages of movement and stability development automatically, it is fair to say that we are hard-wired that way. I use the same methodology to let my patients understand and then implement the concepts across all movement and stability tasks.

  • Technique and Approach

Look for chiropractors who use gentle, low-force techniques that are less likely to overstress hypermobile joints.

  • Comprehensive Care Plans:

The chiropractor should offer a holistic approach, including exercise programs, lifestyle modifications, and education on joint protection.

  • Reputation and Reviews

Check online reviews and testimonials from other hypermobile patients. Positive feedback from individuals with similar conditions can be reassuring. Your comfort and trust in the chiropractor are essential. You should feel comfortable discussing your symptoms and treatment preferences.

Educate yourself about hypermobility and effective treatments and always look for providers who are eager to take you on as an ‘apprentice’ looking at your issues as the ‘project’ so you become an expert on yourself. This is the only way you will make better health decisions for now and going forward.

If you are hypermobile or suspect to have hypermobility, contact me.

Dr. Shakib

Recommended Reading:

Can Hypermobility Be Cured?

What Are The Symptoms Of Hypermobility?