Hypermobility Syndrome (Joint Hypermobility Syndrome)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

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Hypermobility syndrome facts

  • The joint hypermobility syndrome is a condition that features joints that easily move beyond the normal range expected for that particular joint.
  • Hypermobile joints tend to be inherited.
  • Symptoms of the joint hypermobility syndrome include pain in the knees, fingers, hips, and elbows.
  • Often joint hypermobility causes no symptoms and requires no treatment. Treatments are customized for each individual based on their particular manifestations.

What is the joint hypermobility syndrome?

The joint hypermobility syndrome is a condition that features joints that easily move beyond the normal range expected for a particular joint. The joint hypermobility syndrome is considered a benign condition. It is estimated that 10%-15% of normal children have hypermobile joints or joints that can move beyond the normal range of motion. Hypermobile joints are sometimes referred to as "loose joints," and those affected are referred to as being "double jointed."

What causes joint hypermobility syndrome?

Hypermobile joints tend to be inherited in specific genes passed on by parents to their children. It is felt that these certain genes predispose to the development of hypermobile joints. As a result, there is a tendency of the condition to run in families (familial). Genes that are responsible for the production of collagen, an important protein that helps to glue tissues together, are suspected of playing a role.

What diseases are risk factors for joint hypermobility syndrome?

Joint hypermobility is also a feature of a rare, inherited, more significant medical condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which is characterized by weakness of the connective tissues of the body. Joint hypermobility is commonly seen in people with Down syndrome and in people with Marfan syndrome.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/12/2016

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