Can Hypermobility Cause Back Pain?

Can Hypermobility Cause Back Pain?

Hypermobility is excess joint movements and can cause pain in every part of the body, including the lower back area. This pain can be from the muscles engaging to stabilize and muscles over engaging to compensate for the lax ligaments or from issues at other structures from the lack of joint stability.

Not every back pain has the same cause; for example, you can have lower back pain from muscle tension, nerve compression or tension, or even a disc bulge, disc protrusion, or disc herniation.

What is Hypermobility?

I strongly suggest you review my blog collection to understand what hypermobility is. In short, it is instability of the joints because of the lax ligaments and connective tissue, and it impacts all the joints in the body; hypermobility can occur in some joints more than others, but as a connective tissue disorder, it is not just in one joint!

Some common signs include:

    • Excessive Joint Movement
    • Joint Pain: Discomfort or pain in the joints, especially after physical activity.
    • Joint Instability: Feeling like your joints might “give way” or are not fully supported.
    • Fatigue: Tiredness or weakness, especially in the muscles supporting the joints.
    • Easy Bruising: This is due to fragile blood vessels.

How does hypermobility cause back pain?woman standing up holding back with pain

The back pain in hypermobility is caused by the following:

  • Joint Instability

When the joints are hypermobile, support and stability are compromised; this puts extra strain on the muscles, ligaments, and discs in your back, leading to pain and discomfort.

  • Muscle Overuse

To compensate for the instability caused by hypermobile joints, your muscles will have to work harder to keep your spine aligned and supported. This can cause tension and fatigue and lead to pain.

  • Poor Posture

Poor posture happens especially in transitional areas where the neck connects to the body, the mid back connects to the lower back, the lower back connects to the pelvis, and the whole body connects to the ground!! The best practice I have found to help better posture is Developmental exercises such as Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization or DNS.

  • Increased Risk of Injuries

With unstable joints come higher chances of injuries, which can often mean lower back pain.

How do I prevent lower back pain?

  • Stay active and mindful

The safest exercises I have found to work best with my hypermobile patients is those of developmental kinesiology. I follow the teachings of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization which make 100% sense given that we all start from helpless infants to running toddlers without being told what to do. We are programmed to do it that way, so why not use what we already innately know to bring stability?

  • Practice posture awareness

Be mindful of your posture throughout the day. Pay attention to how you sit, stand, and move to prevent unnecessary strain on your spine. I always teach my hypermobile patients their wrong tendencies and what to replace them with. That is the only way we can have success in prevention.

  • Use supportive devices wisely

I am not a big fan of braces, but I recommend them when it comes to my hypermobile patients. Not to be worn all the time but when doing activities that make them prone to injuries or flare-ups. I do recommend hard orthotics, which are good for those with flat feet who are hypermobile.

  • Find the right Rehab. clinician

It is important to ensure you find the right provider, one who knows and treats hypermobility. What we do with our ‘normy’ patients can actually at times hurt our ‘bendy’ patients. Do an online search, call the office and talk to them, ask if you can have a short visit with the provider, and check the EDS Society list, ask the local chapter of EDS groups on Facebook. Do your homework, and know that we are out there!

If you are hypermobile and have joint pain, contact me.

Dr. Shakib

Recommended Reading:

Who Diagnoses Hypermobility?

What Is The Best Hypermobility Treatment?