Joint Hypermobility refers to unusually flexible joints as a result of connective tissue disorder which can lead to discomfort and pain if not managed properly. While there are various treatments available, you should only seek treatment by providers that treat joint hypermobility. Effective management of hypermobility can be achieved at least partly even on a tight budget. This blog provides practical, low-cost strategies to help you manage hypermobility symptoms as much as possible.

What Is Hypermobility?

Hypermobility refers to joints that move beyond the normal range of motion, which can lead to joint pain, instability, and in some cases, conditions like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Proper management is crucial to prevent complications. I have written a blog on the signs of hypermobility that you may consider reading now.

What Is The Role Of Exercise And Hypermobility?

Not every exercise is the right one for joint hypermobility and IMO, you should approach Yoga carefully. Here are the options for the person on a tight budget.

Home Exercise Programsbaby doing a plank exercise

Engaging in regular exercise to strengthen muscles around hypermobile joints is crucial. Fortunately, many exercises can be done at home without the need for expensive equipment. My strong recommendation is Developmental exercises such as Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization or DNS which are low impact and highly effective.

These are exercises learned by studying babies; if all babies start as helpless toddlers and without going to a gym, lifting any dumbbells or using a strap get to the running toddler stage, then why don’t we do the same?

I use DNS as the sole exercise protocol with all of my Bendy patients with great results and suggest searching the web for these exercises.

YouTube Tutorials

Utilize free resources on YouTube for exercise routines that can help stabilize joints and improve overall strength. Look for channels that specialize in hypermobility to ensure the exercises are safe and effective. My own channels on YT are for Functional Mobility and Hypermobility.

What About Joint Care And Protection?

It is all about bubble wrapping! This is not the same as putting yourself in a bubble, and bubble wrapping is not for the hypermobile only. We all need to bubble wrap and the hypermobile population is more motivated to do so because when hurt, the pain is greater and it takes longer to feel better. Here are a few easy ways to protect your joints.

Ergonomic Adjustments

Simple ergonomic adjustments can significantly reduce joint strain. I suggest air discs over your chair to sit on. Use items you already have at home, such as books to raise your monitor to eye level or a rolled towel for lumbar support. Make sure you take multiple breaks and lay down on your back every 30 minutes for 5 minutes if you don’t have a stand up/ sit down desk.

Affordable Braces And Supportswhite knee cusion

Braces and supports can help stabilize hypermobile joints during activities. These can be purchased inexpensively online or at local pharmacies. Look for generic brands that offer the same support at a lower cost. Here are the list of what I recommend to my patients.

What Are Pain Management Tools For Hypermobility?

Pain management can vary from medications to herbs, supplements and more.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help manage pain. Always follow the recommended dosages and consult a healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Hot And Cold Therapy

Reusable hot and cold packs are cost-effective tools to manage pain and inflammation. Apply heat to relax muscles and cold to reduce swelling. These packs can be purchased for a low cost and reused as needed. Test to see what works best for you since dysautonomia is different for different people.

What Are The Roles Of Diet And Nutrition In Hypermobility?

Health and disease have 3 pillars: the actual structure, nutrition and emotion. Your body needs proper nutrition to heal itself. When it comes to joint hypermobility, there are certain known facts to consider.

Balanced Diet

A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can support joint health. Incorporate foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts. These foods help reduce inflammation and support overall health.

Also, since Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or MCAS seems to be common among those with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome and similar connective tissue disorders, low histamine diet is a good one to consider. Bear in mind that with all nutritional suggestions, you should consider any sensitivity or allergies that you may have.

Hydration

Staying well-hydrated is crucial for maintaining joint health. Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your joints lubricated and functioning well.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS is another common condition among the Bendy population and I recommend electrolytes to manage that and to handle flare-ups.

What Are the Best Community and Support Groups For Hypermobility?

I find facebook groups as the best starting point to connect to those who are in a similar place.

Local Support Groupsclassroom full of attendees listening to a speaker

Joining a support group can provide emotional support and practical advice. Many communities offer free or low-cost support groups for individuals with hypermobility. These groups can also provide information on local resources and activities.

Community Centers

Check out local community centers for free or low-cost exercise classes tailored for individuals with joint issues. These classes often provide structured exercise routines in a supportive environment.

Educational Resources

These are through virtual summits offered by different groups and providers. I have personally been a guest speaker on several virtual summits and know my colleagues in treating the hypermobile communities have done so as well. Healthmeans is a great starting point.

Books and Online Resources

Investing in a few key books about managing hypermobility can be a worthwhile expenditure. Many online resources provide free, comprehensive information about hypermobility management. Websites like the Ehlers-Danlos Society offer valuable insights and resources.

What Are Some Of The Lifestyle Adjustments For Hypermobility?

Posture Correction

Maintaining good posture can significantly impact joint health. There are numerous free resources online that offer guidance on proper posture. Practicing good posture can help prevent joint strain and reduce pain.

My practice focuses heavily on this aspect of hypermobility management and I have many free resources online for those who are looking for more. Start with my website and explore what I have out there related to hypermobility.

Rest And Activity Balance

Balancing rest and activity is essential to avoid overstraining joints. Learn to pace your activities to prevent pain and fatigue. Incorporate rest periods into your daily routine to allow your body to recover.

Managing hypermobility on a budget involves a combination of self-care strategies, utilizing free or low-cost resources, and seeking community support. By incorporating these practical tips, you can effectively manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life without significant financial burden.

For more detailed guidance and resources, visit organizations like the Hypermobility Syndrome Association and the Ehlers-Danlos Society.

If after trying the resources I discussed on this blog that you still need help, do not hesitate to contact me.

Dr. Shakib

Recommended Reading:

What Is The Best Exercise For Hypermobility?

Can Hypermobility Be Cured?